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By Julian Nettlefold, Editor BATTLESPACE

05 May 04. ‘Lessons learnt’ in Iraq has caused a rethink in the requirement for armoured cabs for the UK Support Vehicle requirement. This requirement has gone from bottom of the wish list to a major priority. Coupled with the requirement for mobility and capability in expeditionary forces, the net result could be a change in emphasis on the final truck procured. Whilst all the competitors in the competition have put forward their proposals to the MoD in detailed submissions last year, the DPA is examining the armouring requirement in particular following reports from Iraq.

Our U.S. correspondent, Scott Gourley, has written the story entitled, ‘ARMOR, ARMOR EVERYWHERE’, in this issue, which gives a detailed account of the extensive up-armoring operations being carried out on soft skinned vehicles in Iraq following the huge rise in road side bomb attacks.

We spoke to Jonathon Shorer at Oshkosh and John Stoddart in the US who both confirmed that Oshkosh was heavily involved in the up-armoring process of its and other trucks and vehicles in Iraq. “Whilst armoring cabs has always formed part of the SV specification from the outset, the requirement for armored cabs has risen to the top of the pile since the Iraq war started and these roadside attacks claimed so many lives and vehicles. Thus, the requirement now is for the Support Vehicle chosen by the UK to have a 2 tonne armoured cab together with the best load carrying capacity and cross-country ability which can be provide on a minimum of a ten tonne capacity,” Shorer told BATTLESPACE.

Previous MoD experience with such vehicles as the Leyland DAF 4 tonne meant that when the vehicle was equipped with a crane, the resulting all up weight meant that only one laden pallet could be accommodated on the platform. The urgent armoring requirement was also raised by Col. Carew Wilks during the interview for this year’s DVD exhibition for which armoring for soft skin vehicles will be one of the features.

Stewart & Stevenson

Regis Luther, Engineering Vice President for Stewart & Stevenson, said, “Two years ago we saw an urgent need for truck cabs to be armored and to that end we initiated a project to build an armored cab into the body of our truck. The result was the new Low Signature Armored Cab (LSCAC) for the FMTV fleet of vehicles being built for the U.S. Army by Stewart & Stevenson. (See BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.6 ISSUE 9, March 8th 2004, STEWART & STEVENSON SHOW NEW ARMORED CAB). By designing the armor into the existing truck framework we only add 1 tonne of weight to the vehicle which keeps it within the weight and airportability requirement for the UK MoD and retains the cost effectiveness in the 4×4 configuration along with its full off road mobility ratings.”

“The C-130 air transportable LSAC replaces the existing cab in a remove and replace operation taking 2 people 4 hours. This approach effectively makes the complete MoD Support Vehicle Programme fitted for but not with armour which is a valuable logistics feature in MoD fielding flexibility. This is compared to other hang on armour approaches which require fitted for but not with features and cost incorporated at initial vehicle build. The new cab is for 2-3 people, fully air conditioned, with a weapons station and Chemical Air Filtration system-equipped. The mine protection exceeds NATO STANAG 4569 2a to 3a, level 3a blast and provides the FMTV family with cabs which provide the crew protection from assault rifle rounds, land mines and artillery fragments and the growing IED roadside threat but keeping it within C-130 transportability. This armoured cab by Stewart & Stevenson exceeds the MoD armour requirement.”

This very capable armouring solution is a further example of the advances in technology and vision that Stewart & Stevenson continues to demonstrate and make available to

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