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Millbrook, based in Bedfordshire, UK, makes a significant contribution to the quality and performance of military vehicles worldwide. Its specialist expertise is focussed in two distinct areas: test programmes to help armed services and their suppliers ensure that their vehicles and systems work as the specification requires; and design and build work to upgrade new or existing vehicles, evaluate vehicle capability and investigate in-service failures. Complementing these is driver and service training and a hospitality business that allows customers to use selected areas of Millbrook’s remarkable facilities for demonstrations and exhibitions.

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22 Sep 10. Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV): Preferred Bidder. The Defence Equipment Minister announced (22 Sep 10) that Force Protection Europe has been selected as the LPPV preferred bidder. Contract negotiations are now to start for an initial order of Ocelot LPPV through the Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) process. The losing contender, Supacat, is to continue development of its SPV400 LPPV.
Comment: Contrary to media reports the MoD has not, as yet, ordered any LPPV. As published by the MoD: “The total number will be subject to negotiation and announced in due course.”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/37, 27 Sep 10)

28 Sep 10. British commandos to use buggy to fight Taliban. Britain’s elite Special Air Service commandos, who are considered one of the word’s toughest, will soon be undertaking operations in Afghanistan in which they would parachute down behind Taliban lines on a buggy. Two commandos will drive the buggy, called Rhino Air, straight out of a transport plane while it is mid-air. They would then steer it onto the ground with the help of a parachute. The buggy has to be launched from at least 8,000 feet and can float 25 miles before coming to earth at about 10mph. The crack commandos have been carrying out tests in which “dummy runs” were carried out in Britain to see if the concept could be put into practice in Afghanistan. Designed on the frame of a quad bike, the buggy can carry up to half a tonne of kit, including ammunition and medical supplies.
The commandos commandeering it have to wear their own parachutes, in case there was an emergency. (Source: The SUN)

23 Sep 10. Plans to provide troops in Afghanistan with a new generation of Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV) have passed an important milestone with Force Protection Europe announced as the preferred bidder by the Ministry of Defence. The selection of Force Protection Europe as the preferred bidder means contract negotiations will now begin to provide an initial order of LPPVs through the Urgent Operational Requirements process. The first vehicles are expected to be available to troops for training in 2011. The total number will be subject to negotiation and announced in due course. The LPPV has been designed to provide unprecedented levels of blast protection for a vehicle of its size, and will be able to carry a crew of up to six people. It will add to the wide array of protected vehicles already being used on operations in Afghanistan, including Mastiff and Ridgback. Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Peter Luff, said: “Small, agile but highly protected, the LPPV is at the forefront of technology. It will offer troops unprecedented levels of blast protection for such a light
vehicle, enabling them to carry out a wide range of tasks, whilst moving with ease through narrow alleyways or crossing bridges. “It will be a valuable addition to the vehicles already available to commanders in Afghanistan, and demonstrates the Government’s commitment to providing our troops with the very best equipment on the front line. “I’m delighted to announce that negotiations can now begin to get these vehicle

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