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10 Sep 14. FRES dead at last? The PQ on September 10 from Kevan Jones indicates that FRES is now dead and buried after millions of wasted pounds and that Scout has quietly taken up its mantle, meaning that the GD ASCOD-based design for Scout will now form the basis of all the British Army Infantry Fighting vehicle variants.
Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to procure a class of Future Rapid Effects System Utility vehicles as part of the Armoured Vehicles Programme. 
Mr Dunne: The Ministry of Defence is no longer pursuing a “Future Rapid Effects System” programme. The capability that the Future Rapid Effects System was intended to deliver is now being delivered through other projects, principally the SCOUT Specialist Vehicle (SV) and the Utility Vehicle (UV). SCOUT is the transformational project that will refresh our entire armoured capability and allow us to remain a global first-tier military force. A £3.5bn contract to procure 589 SCOUT (SVs) was announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Michael Fallon) on 3 September 2014. The Utility Vehicle programme, including work to define the requirements of the vehicle, is in its early stages. Where does this leave the much trumpeted joint deal for testing VBCI announced with France? It looks like from the PQ that the APC solution for the British Army will continue to be tracked not wheeled.
07 Sep 14. KMW unveils new 4×4 special forces vehicle. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) unveiled their new air-transportable, modular 4×4 Special Operation Vehicle (SOV) designed for long-range reconnaissance and special operations at MSPO 2014 in Kielce. The vehicle is the result of a German-Polish co-operation effort started in 2012. The SOV is based on an Italian Bremach chassis via KMW, while integration is conducted by AMZ Kutno, based on their experience with the discontinued Polish ‘Swistak’ 4×4 vehicle. The SOV has a 3-6 person crew and is equipped with three different gun mounts (12.7/40 mm HMG on power-driven ring mount; two 5.56/7.62 mm MG pedestal mounts), remote-controlled weapon station and multi-purpose grenade launchers (76/40mm). The vehicle has a folding roll-bar, which cuts the preparation time for internal transport in the cargo bay of a CH-47 Chinook or CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter down to under 120 seconds. The vehicle able to be almost immediately combat ready once landed as the weapon stay mounted during transport. The prototype vehicle was completed in June and has already been shown to the German and Austrian special forces. It is also being proposed as a solution for the Polish special forces’ ‘Pegaz’ multirole vehicle programme. The SOV is 5.99m long, 1.935m wide and 2.632mm (1.870 m for helicopter transport) high. The curb weight is 5,000 kg with a payload capability of 2,500 kg. The vehicle is powered by an Iveco 3-litre diesel engine and has a combat range 900km. Alternate variants of the SOV are armoured personnel carrier with an open roof; fully armoured pick-up; and armoured version with flatbed. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
10 Sep 14. A new research program aims to get the next-generation ground combat vehicle off the drawing board. And if the drawings of it by an Army civilian are any indication, future soldiers could be riding in a lightweight, agile, easy-to-deploy platform ripped straight from the pages of a graphic novel. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced the launch of the Ground X-Vehicle Technology program last month, but in May, a report called “GXV Operational Vignettes” went out from the Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center. It includes more than two dozen pages of drawings from James Scott, with TARDEC’s advanced concepts team, offering views o