01 Jul 03. The significance of the order for 360 TUM FFR (Fitted For Radio) vehicles worth £20m for Automotive Technik was not lost by a number of observers at DVD.
This is the first time that a vehicle other than a Defender 110′ Land Rover has been selected for the medium role in FFR operations and underlines the growing popularity of the Pinzgauer in the British Army. The vehicles purchased are hard top versions of the Pinzgauer 716 MK 4×4 model and are also earmarked for the Bowman requirement.
In addition the company told BATTLESPACE that the MoD is looking at the 6×6 variant for the 105 Light Gun Limber/tractor role. At present two vehicles are required for this role which can be combined utilising the 6xt6 vehicle. It is ironic that the Editor in his previous incarnation offered the SMC Sandringham 139’Land Rover 6×6 for this role in 1981! The Pinzgauer fleet is rising to that of 2000 forecast by the Editor in IDN in 1995.
The company also announced the appointment of Sir Colin Chandler as Chairman following the untimely death of Victor Gauntlett.
The announcement of the OUVs requirement, with a top-end requirement of 4 tonnes, reopened the debate as to Land Rover’s aspirations in this area. The company denied that they were not going to compete OUVs with a new EURO IV engine. Unconfirmed sources suggested that the company was on-track to introduce a new Defender based on the Discovery with a monocoque chassis. Other sources suggested that the Defender range would be phased out by Ford in 2005 in the UK. There are very few company’s capable of offering a range of vehicles in this range, some suggesting a US solution may be the final solution.
The 4-6 tonne OUV requirement would put Supacat and Mowag head-to-head with their vehicles. Supacat announced the 6×6 variant which the Editor would confirm as his star of DVD in the light segment (See DVD COMES OF AGE). This vehicle hAs won praise and has been selected for the Watchkeeper ground station role; in addition the company is soon to announce a major order in the USA. The arrival of Julian Browne of Carlyle may signal an interest from United Defense to build the vehicle in the US under license. Interest has also been expressed in the project by Stewart & Stevenson.
Chris Dunn, the agent for the Duro in the UK, said that the purchase by Mowag enables the company to offer a full-range of vehicles for the UK from the eagle to the new Duro 3, with the carrot of a possible UK facility. He said that the company has been selected for a number of projects including the Skynet 5 ground station under a GFE deal with the CSV(L) team at the MoD, this has yet to be confirmed by EADS.