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05 Nov 10. The Duke of York has attacked the “hopeless” Ministry of Defence for failing to order armoured vehicles that could save soldiers’ lives. He accused defence chiefs of sitting on their “fat backsides” and stalling on bringing in British-built Rangers, which are said to have three times the blast resistance of troop carriers currently in use. His comments are likely to embarrass David Cameron, who has insisted that
defence cuts will not compromise the safety of those serving in Afghanistan. They also amounted to a breach of protocol, which dictates that members of the Royal family should avoid expressing political views. The Duke was applauded by relatives of fallen soldiers. Anthony Philippson, whose son, Captain Jim Philippson was killed in Afghanistan in 2006, said: “I think Prince Andrew will have the support of forces families for being brave enough to speak out.” The Duke’s remarks were made at the factory that manufactures the £1m Ranger. He was visiting in his capacity as an ambassador for British trade and industry.
Last year the Ministry of Defence said it had no immediate plans to order
Rangers, but had asked for independent tests to establish the vehicle’s resistance to roadside bombs of the type used by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Duke told executives at Universal Engineering in Weymouth, Dorset: “Why do they have to do blast tests? It’s just increasing the cost. It just seems that because it takes time to get these things done – I would say to you that regrettably they will not get off their fat backsides. The MoD are completely hopeless at these kind of things.” (Source: Daily Telegraph)

01 Nov 10. Ukraine develops harder-hitting MT-LBMSh. Ukraine’s state-owned weapons company Ukrspetexport is marketing a modified version of the MT-LBMSh multipurpose tracked armoured vehicle with a revised layout and substantially increased firepower. The new vehicle replaces the legacy one-person, 7.62 mm PKT machine gun-armed turret mounted on the front of the vehicle with an overhead weapon station (OWS) at the rear of the hull. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

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