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14 Sep 2011. The key British Army requirement for a new scout armored vehicle contract is in danger of being cancelled due to continuing defense financial constraints, according to General Dynamics UK boss
Sandy Wilson. Speaking to reporters at a briefing on the sidelines of the Defence System Equipment International exhibition here, Wilson said that while a delay to the program was the most likely outcome, cancellation remains a possibility. General Dynamics UK signed a £500m ($791.4m) deal in July 2010 with the government to design and demonstrate a family of medium weight specialist vehicles based on its ASCOD platform for the Army. The focus of the initial work is the development of a scout vehicle with a 40mm gun. Under the government’s original agreement, it was due to make a decision to enter a production phase in 2013 with first deliveries starting in 2016. At the least, that timescale is now under threat. The Army is looking at various options to retain the program whilereprofiling spending to take account of the continuing pressure on Army budgets in the wake of a recent three-month review of capabilities and budgets.
Wilson said one possible outcome aside from a delay was a reduction in numbers. The specialist vehicles program is aimed at equipping the Army with a range of vehicle types using the ASCOD as the common platform.
General Dynamics has already been the victim of a change of government mind on armoured vehicles. (In our view quite rightly, given the change of threat! Ed.) In 2008, the then-Labour government cancelled a deal for the company to supply its Piranha V utility vehicle as part of the Future Rapid Effects Vehicle. The specialist vehicle requirement is the British Army’s top vehicle program along with a project to update the Warrior infantry fighting vehicle. Lockheed Martin is negotiating with the Ministry of Defence to secure that deal. Timing and numbers are being discussed, but the Army is trying to alter the spending profile to be able to afford both key programs. Wilson said the vehicle had already gained strong interest from four potential export customers and the company was looking at options to use different caliber weapons from the 40mm CTAI supplied cannon for overseas customers. The CTAI has been mandated by the British government for the scout SV vehicle. (Source: Defense News)
BATTLESPACE Comment: Don’t say we didn’t predict this!! GDUK were so upset about the Editor’s letter in the Times last year that a number of calls and emails were made to the Times complaining! When BATTLESPACE continued to question the Programme, we were removed from the GDUK press list! The numerous puff releases put out recently and the feature in DSEi which was found to be flawed were seen by us as a desperate act to show progress. Our prediction, Scout and CTAi will be scrapped and the MoD will build on its existing Warrior fleet with Lockheed Martin and BAE (who are already quietly building a number of variants including a bridgelayer with mine plough) and eventually replace the canon system with the ATK Bushmaster. I don’t think it required a genius to find that export customers didn’t want CTAi! A someone said to the Editor, “Don’t take on someone who can afford a gallon of ink!”
06 Sep 11. Partner, integrate, manufacture and support are key to the Marshall Land Systems display on stand S4-305 at DSEi being held at ExCeL, London from 13 to 16 September 2011. During the show the company will be discussing its capabilities in providing protected workspace solutions for laboratories, hospitals, workshops, C2, ISTAR, and Unmanned Vehicle ground stations; its vehicle completion solutions for a range of utility vehicles including the UK’s Support Vehicle, the Thales Bushmaster, the Iveco range of LMVs and Force Protection’s Ocel