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18 Sep 08. Powerful demonstration of Military equipment

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles scanned the horizon for enemy action. Jackal
vehicles with their awesome firepower raced ahead using the latest
surveillance and targeting systems. Infantry stood ready to strike
with deadly sniper rifles, mortars and grenade machine guns – this
wasn’t a major operation in Afghanistan but the UK’s largest
demonstration of military equipment purchased urgently for troops in
Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hundreds of pieces of equipment and over 500 people gathered on
Salisbury Plain for a powerful demonstration of the advanced
technology and cutting-edge equipment that is supporting our troops
on operations.

From the heavily armoured Mastiff patrol vehicle – a hero of recent
operations in Afghanistan, to sophisticated thermal imaging sights
and the latest state-of-the-art cameras and remote weapons systems –
all were on site and demonstrating their effect to those present.

Baroness Taylor, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support said:”The Urgent Operational Requirements (UOR) process is an undisputed success – over £3Bn of extra money has been spent on new equipment for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan – from new armoured vehicles like Mastiff and Ridgback to remote weapon systems which are protecting the soldiers in their bases.

“Working with our partners in industry, we have responded quickly to
the evolving and often unpredictable threats our soldiers face on
operations. We have listened to the feedback from the ground and
procured state-of-the-art kit to meet the urgent needs of our troops.
The large display of equipment here today is testament to the
effectiveness of that UOR process.”

All the equipment demonstrated today has been recently procured or
upgraded through the urgent operational requirement process, with
funds coming directly from the Treasury and separate to the defence

Major General Bill Moore CBE, Director General Logistic Support and
Equipment, Land Forces said: “The Army is well equipped on operations. The equipment fielded in both Afghanistan and Iraq, when coupled with offensive tactics, techniques and procedures enables our soldiers to seize the
initiative and conduct successful operations against the insurgents. It is also saving lives.”

The operational demonstration gave those present the opportunity to view an impressive selection of weapons, vehicles and upgrades. In most cases the equipment has been sourced and delivered in record time, thanks to the UOR process.

Personal protection is a vital subject and so in addition to a scenario-based demonstration of the equipment and static stands, there were specific briefings on:

a. CAMP PROTECTION: New Operational Base Remote Weapon System
ENFORCER by Selex and the cutting edge CORTEZ. State-of-the-art
threat detection systems such as aerostat mounted cameras and ground
movement sensors can produce information overload – the CORTEZ system
fuses these inputs and displays them on a single user friendly
digital map. If the camp is under direct threat, the new ENFORCER
remote weapons system is ready to respond.

b. INDIVIDUAL PROTECTION: Dismounted Close Combat – infantrymen have undergone the most radical upgrade of all. A unique opportunity to compare a soldier from 2003 with the amount of personal equipment issued on current operations. The 2008 version now benefits from the latest target acquisition and night fighting technology that add as much to personal protection as the body armour.

c. VEHICLE PROTECTION: The UOR process is inherently flexible and can be just as effective in adding upgrades to equipment when new threats are detected as well as procuring new vehicles. A Warrior Fighting Vehicle was compared and contrasted from its standard variant to the new Theatre Entry Standard (Warrior (TES)) which benefits from a large number of upgrades.


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