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18 May 11. Iraq has received the first 26 of 420 Ukraine-built BTR-4 armoured personnel carriers (APC), as part of a $2.5bn Iraqi Defence Ministry contract for procurement of arms and weapons for its modern armed forces. Under the contract, Iraq will receive most of the weapons systems and equipment from the US, Russia, Serbia, France and Ukraine.
The 4t 8×8 BTR-4 vehicle, a variant of the Russian BTR-80 wheeled APC, has amphibious capabilities and can carry a three-man crew and eight soldiers. The vehicle is immune to rocket-propelled grenades, carries a 30mm autocannon, a 7.62mm machine gun and a 30mm grenade launcher, or two anti-tank missiles. The United Press Trust has reported US military analyst DJ Elliott as saying that the BTR-4s could be assigned to Iraqi special operations forces strike units. The second shipment of 62 vehicles is scheduled for September this year, with the total delivery of APCs expected to be complete by the end of 2012. Ukraine also hopes to sell an unspecified number of advanced T-84 Oplot main battle tanks to Iraq. (Source: armytechnology.com)
21 May 11. Little nuggets buried in NAO Armoured Vehicles Report. A detailed scan of the NAO Armoured Vehicles Report revealed some interesting developments.
1. Foxhound. The NAO expects the MoD to purchase more Foxhounds and this is coupled with a Statement that, ‘the Foxhound has been designed to accept at least 25 per cent growth in vehicle weight,’ which would put 10 tonnes in its sights. This confirms the statement made to the Editor by John Lake of Ricardo when he saw the vehicle in build last year. ‘We also had to build in growth to the vehicle and to that end we used an Axletech system which will give growth to at least 10 tonnes if required. The vehicle you see is plated to 7.5 tonnes.’ This suggests that Foxhound may be used as the backbone for an ‘OUVS-type’ fleet of variants from Patrol Vehicles thru flatbeds to WIMIK and other fits. The NAO Report went on to say that ‘It is expected that the Department will purchase further batches of Foxhounds in the future,’ suggesting that the second tranche of 200 will be placed. Given that Project Remus is also studying replacements for Pinzgauer the Medium Fleet could be split between Foxhound and Husky. The Foxhound price of a reported £900k per vehicle may create a larger proportion of Huskys.
N.B. Here we should also state that Thales has been selected to install the General Vehicle Architecture for Foxhound. Force protection Europe has also issued another Requirement to industry to fit out the pod
2. FRES UV. Seasoned BATTLESPACE readers expected 2017 as the expected ISD for FRES UV. Now the date has been extended again with the Statement that, ‘Considerable reliance will be placed on being able to run on Cold war vehicles for many years. There are no plans to begin to equip the mechanised infantry with the FRES UV vehicle until at least 2022.’ It goes on to say that,’ aspirations of making the “…Army more mobile and more flexible,” appears to be remote until at least 2025.’ This indicates further delays.
3. Warrior and (FRES SV) Scout. An interesting statement was made regarding Warrior