The work of DE&S’ protected mobility staff has been recognised as vehicles produced for patrol in Afghanistan are now to form the
Around 2,000 protected mobility vehicles, among them Jackal and
Mastiff, which were introduced rapidly into service in Afghanistan as part of the Urgent Operational Requirement process, are to be brought into the MOD’s core equipment programme.
The range of protected mobility vehicles coming into core includes hundreds of Mastiff, Ridgback, Wolfhound, Warthog, Husky, Jackal and
Coyote vehicles. Significant numbers of vehicles extensively upgraded through the UOR process are also being brought into core. Also included is a range of ancillary equipment procured at short notice to provide additional safety features to the deployed fleets, including minerollers, emergency lighting and egress equipment and rollover protection.
The vehicles will now form the backbone of patrol capabilities for Army 2020, the design of the British Army for the next decade and beyond, which will be more adaptable and flexible to undertake a broader range of military tasks at home and overseas.
The news has been welcomed by Protected Mobility Programme members at Abbey Wood, whose work on the vehicles provided soldiers with a whole new fleet of vehicles to allow them to patrol more safely in urban and rural areas on Operation Herrick.
The vehicles being brought into the core programme include:
• 100 Warthog;
• 325 Husky;
• 400 Mastiff;
• 160 Ridgback;
• 125 Wolfhound;
• 400 Jackal;
• 70 Coyote
(All numbers approximate)
“This has been a huge and very demanding piece of work for the team,” said Protected Mobility Programme deputy leader David Russell.
“We’ve successfully generated and put through the new approvals processes – seven business cases – all of which received the necessary levels of approval.
“I would like to congratulate all those involved for all their hard work – and those who helped us in the Army’s Land Capability organisation and elsewhere in the MOD.
“For me personally and I’m sure for the rest of the team it was extremely satisfying seeing the Army’s plans to bring the vast majority of the vehicles we had successfully procured under UORs during the past few years into core equipment.
“The vehicles that most people now recognise from operations in Afghanistan, such as Mastiff, Jackal and Husky, will all now have a great future with the Army and form part of its new order of battle as it reconfigures itself for the future.”
Mr Russell has been involved in many of the UOR procurements himself. He said it was a tremendous boost for the team to know that the vehicles they had worked on procuring and updating to meet the developing threat would be used by the Army for many years to come.
He said: “We are now entering the process of competing some of the individual upgrade programmes and we look forward in due course to awarding the necessary contracts and then seeing the vehicles handed to the Army formations that will own them, train on them and use them in the future.”
The news has been welcomed by the Army. “These vehicles gave us battle-
winning capability, saved lives and prevented a great deal of injury to our soldiers,” said Colonel Harry Fullerton, assistant head of Mounted Capability Directorate Combat. “Bringing them into the core equipment programme will allow us to continue to use these highly capable and modern vehicles in the new structures of the Army.”
From the Herrick Exchange Point facility at Warminster, mechanics are working to bring vehicles to final unit-entry standard ready to issue around the UK. Deliveries will begin next year to allow UK-based units to start training. Husky, Mastiff and Ridgback will be issued to protected mobility infantry battalions, combat support and combat service support units. Jackal and Coyote will be used by some of the newly-badged light cavalry units.
Features of the regeneration incl