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By Julian Nettlefold

11 May 12. Last year we reported on the imminence of the RFP for the Kuwait Warrior Upgrade Requirement (See: BATTLESPACE EXHIBITION NEWS Vol.13 ISSUE 02, 25 February 2011, News from IDEX, DESERT WARRIOR UPGRADE IMMINENT By Julian Nettlefold)

Kuwait has a firm requirement to have its fleet of Desert Warriors, supplied by GKN Defence after the first Gulf War, upgraded. BATTLESPACE understands that the vehicles have been languishing in barracks after a seven year absence of the supply of spares by BAE Systems following internal disagreements with the Rulers of Kuwait. The availability numbers were not released. The closure of the U.K. Government Contracts Office in Kuwait, opened as part of the Desert Warrior contract, has not helped smooth he path to a much needed upgrade contract.

In 1993, Kuwait purchased 254 Desert Warrior vehicles. Desert Warrior was an export version of the original British Army Warrior adapted for operations in hostile desert conditions. It is fitted with the Delco turret as used on the LAV-25 wheeled IFV, mounting a stabilised M242 Bushmaster 25 mm chain gun with coaxial 7.62 mm chain gun and 2 x Hughes TOW ATGM launchers (one mounted on each side).

BATTLESPACE was told that the original Kuwaiti intention was to build on the excellent relationship with U.S. industry with the M1A1 tank overhaul facility in particular and use FMS to develop a Desert Warrior Program led by Raytheon and including others such as Lockheed Martin and CAT in particular. We understand that, due to lack of U.S. content, the FMS option was shelved ten days ago.

BATTLESPACE met up with Lockheed Martin, GD Land Systems and BAE Systems at SOFEX this month and all expressed an interest in bidding the Requirement but said that progress had been stalled due to ‘User Requirements’ being revisited which had put a delay of several months on the Request For Proposal (RFP).

The Programme is divided into 3 parts:

1. Turret upgrade for better optics and refurbishment of ATK canon, current favourite is Moog with the ADS optics solution as used on the Australian LAV 25 Upgrade Programme. Kuwait has just purchased the Wireless TOW system, so the new optics solution will have to incorporate increased arrange requirements. ADVS still hope to sell their new turret recently acquired by Kuwait but sources suggest that the refurbished Delco turret, now owned by Moog will be the favoured solution. GD purchased Delco and still owns the Technical data Pack for the turret;

2. Refurbishment of running gear and drive train;

3. Establishing a Through Life Support programme. As part of this Kuwait has issued a Requirement to establish a Third Line Workshop in Kuwait to support Land Platforms at Camp Doha

Morri Leland of Lockheed Martin told BATTLESPACE that the Company does not expect a Government-to Government bid and is assembling a list of Companies who can manage the bid with Lockheed priming it. There will be no FMS-led bid as the USA does not have a Program Office to support the bid.

“We are using our experience in winning the Warrior WCSP Programme in the UK and our win on the Scout turret to drive our in-depth knowledge of Warrior and its capabilities to the Kuwait customer. The U.K. and Kuwait are the only two operators of Warrior. Lockheed Martin UK’s INSYS facility would be able to provide not only key automotive and drivetrain technology through its Warrior WCSP Programme but also be able to provide a turret solution as developed for WCSP.”

List of bidders includes: BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, GD Canada and Raytheon. Raytheon currently support the optics system. NAVISTAR had been suggested by one publication but the Company did not confirm that they were bidding.

Simon George of BAE Systems told BATTLESPACE that the Company was exploring a tie up with Babcock and local Kuwaiti partner ABI. BAE is also looking to Babcock to participa

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