The upgraded Warriors were originally due to enter service in March last year.
The Ministry of Defence has spent eight years and more than £400m trying to refurbish the hull of the 30-year-old vehicles.
The overall point of the the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme is to completely upgrade the current Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles to provide “enhanced protection and increased lethality, fightability and survivability”. The programme will involve upgrading 380 Warrior vehicles.
It would seem however that there is still no date in sight.
Mohammad Yasin, MP for Bedford, asked:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to award a production contract for the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme.”
Jeremy Quin, Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, responded:
“The Full Business Case for the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme is currently being considered through our internal approvals process, and is subject to commercial negotiations. It would not therefore be appropriate to comment further at this time. All decisions are subject to the ongoing Integrated Review.”
Why is the programme delayed?
Peter Ruddock, Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin UK, answered this question in a submission to the Defence election Committee.
“Committee members were right to note that, recent progress notwithstanding, WCSP has experienced challenges. Members highlighted delays to the Programme and cost overruns. They also asked about the in-service date for the upgraded vehicles. I would like to provide further information on each of these areas, which the Committee may find useful. As context, it is important to recognise that WCSP is a development programme. Development programmes by their nature are intended to design and test new capabilities, to consider if the product will deliver the capability requirements defined by the MoD. They are undertaken before a production contract can be let.
First, on programme delays:-
• Lockheed Martin experienced some first-time design issues at the start of the Programme;
• Lockheed Martin has been dependent on the provision of various pieces of Government Furnished Equipment. The Programme was also affected by the sale of the MoD’s Defence Support Group; and
• The most significant delay to the Programme was caused by the MoD changing the specification of the cannon, which resulted in a contract amendment in 2016. Lockheed Martin has met its contracted dates and commitments since that contract amendment.
Secondly, on cost overruns. The WCSP development phase contract is a firm price programme. Lockheed Martin funds schedule and cost impacts, where these are not the responsibility of the MoD. As of 31 December 2019, cumulative losses to Lockheed Martin from WCSP are over £100 million, on a contract value of approximately £300 million.”