FRES SV TO GO AHEAD?
By Julian Nettlefold
17 Jun 10. When the Coalition Government won power we were assured that the ‘waste culture’ would stop and common sense would prevail, particularly with regard to defence procurement. Clearly the move to ring fence defence spending to ensure that our troops in Afghanistan have the right equipment has given the MoD the leeway it needs to continue the waste of the past 13 years, unhindered and supported by the new administration.
Having attended Eurosatory in Paris for the past 4 days, BATTLESPACE understands that Dr Liam Fox, U.K. Defence Minister will announce at DVD next week that £200 million for 6 prototypes will be spent with GDUK to develop the ASCOD for the FRES (or now Scout SV) Programme. In a number of past overseas competition for APCs, ASCOD has come last behind Warrior and CV90 in particular having been chosen by Spain and Austria in different configurations. . Last month, the Editor asked Quentin Davies MP why he was considering ASCOD instead of the incumbent Warrior which is a similar vehicle in age and weight and which, crucially, has all the required in-theatre upgrades. He said ‘it was a new vehicle’, quite wrong it is almost the same age and weight. We had hoped that Dr. Fox and his team would see sense and look at the realities of the Programme.
In line with David Cameron’s request that the Public become involved in suggesting cost-saving possibilities, we would ask that the situation be reversed to procure a vehicle upgrade to Warrior which would save training and spares to the tune of millions as well as time.
Quite clearly, as with FRES UV, the IPT see another 4 years of ‘jobs for the boys’ with no promise of a new vehicle, like FRES UV, at the end of the process. BAE Systems told the Editor at Eurosatory that they had developed a new hull for Warrior 7 years ago which was turned down by the MoD, this should be re-visited. A suggestion was made at Eurosatory that the MoD requires a common Electronic Architecture for FRES SV and Warrior, this can be achieved through WFLIP. However, no note has been made of the fitment of a new 612 volt system developed by Qinetiq and BAE Systems in line with the U.S. and German vehicles. Qinetiq gave a demonstration of the system to a team of journalists last month.
In March 2009 QinetiQ won a demonstrator programme to investigate use of 610V technology in military vehicles. QinetiQ started to deliver on a £3.5m contract to investigate how the generation and distribution of electrical power on defence vehicles can be improved by using 610 Volt technologies against a background of ever increasing demands for electrical power. QinetiQ leads a team including BAE Systems and Provector Ltd to deliver this contract. The programme will demonstrate improved electrical power capability in Armoured Fighting Vehicles
Awarded by the MOD Future Business Group, this Technology Demonstration
Programme sees the existing 28 Volt system uprated in a demonstrator Warrior 2000 AFV to one that can generate and safely distribute electrical power at 610 Volts for high demand loads, yet still deliver 28 Volt supplies to existing equipment.
Today in addition to the standard vehicle electrical equipment, driveline, management systems and communications kit, most AFVs and Protected Patrol Vehicles will include advanced situational awareness, sensors, personnel and vehicle cooling systems, various other power-hungry systems plus a growing array of future technology – all of which place an increasing burden on the existing 28V generating systems. This high voltage architecture and system is also directly applicable to the wider military vehicle fleet and will be used to inform the development of power generation and distribution systems for future vehicles.
The programme builds on QinetiQ’s extensive vehicle electrical power and propulsion research and development experience and its expertise in the design of high ef