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Aug 02. Two events held in the U.K. this year, DVD at Long Valley in May (See BATTLESPACE Vol. 5 Issue 5 May 2002) and Army 2002 held at Larkhill in July 2002 demonstrated the need to re-instate the Vehicle Mobility and Firepower Demonstrations put on with such effect during the BAEE Exhibitions of the past.

DVD was unique ride and drive event, organised by the Defence Procurement Agency (DPA), demonstrates the effectiveness of the UK’s Armed Services in commissioning, developing and operating a wide range of vehicles.

DVD had over 50 exhibitors signed up with companies keen to show off their latest products, many of which feature cutting edge technology, ranging from leading car and truck makers to specialist manufacturers of military vehicles and equipment. Confirmed exhibitors included Multidrive with Stewart & Stevenson, Ford, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Leyland Trucks (PACCAR), ISTEC, SIGMA, King Trailers, Oshkosh, Supacat, Automotive Technik, MIRA, Barlows, MG Rover and Ricardo.

The numerous cross country routes at Long Valley provided ample opportunities for exhibitors and visitors alike to put the latest military vehicles on display through their paces under demanding off road conditions.

BATTLESPACE’S Editor Julian Nettlefold drove a number of vehicles including the Foden IMMV DROPS vehicle, the Pinzgauer 4×4 from Automotive Technik and the Bucher Duro vehicle chosen for Cormorant.

The editor was not impressed by the performance of the Bucher vehicle but in view of Chris Dunn, of importer Jack Allen’s, adverse reaction to some of the views expressed by the Editor following the test drive , BATTLESPACE will not be publishing results of this test drive as advertised. Mr Dunn has offered battlespace a drive in the new DURO 2 vehicle in due course.

Army 2002 made up for a lack of organisational skills in some excellent displays and fire power. Industry was very pleased with the event as it allowed close discussions with its main customer. A number of the DPA personnel were unable to get to DSEI due to the distance and preferred the short drive to Larkhill.

Both DSEI and EUROSATORY offer the exhibitor and visitor access to products and personnel but lack the atmosphere of mobility and firepower provided by DVD and Army 2002. The spectacular Military Ride of the Royal Hose Artillery was one of the highlights of the show. An horrific accident on the Saturday of the Show was managed with true precision by the Crash Team. The Firepower lacked some stage props and BATTLESPACE would suggest such inclusions as tents and support vehicles to back up the excellent airborne and firepower demo.

A number of views were expressed during both shows that it was a shame that the original plan to merge DVD and Army 2002 did not take place. This would have created a world-beating military vehicles show combining mobility and firepower. BATTLESPACE understands that one of the sticking points was the price of the stand space for the DVD exhibitors. It is understandable by their very nature that these exhibitors need more space than the in door exhibitors and it should not be beyond the bounds of possibility to arrange different rates for the two types of exhibitor.

If these problems can be ironed out, the possibility of a merger of DVD with Defence 2004 show at Larkhill would be a prospect which should not be missed by both the military and exhibitors.

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