Armor: November 12, 2003

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Recently, two British army trucks were attacked with an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) on the streets of Basra. It was unclear whether the explosive was thrown at the truck or planted as a landmine. There were no casualties and while the four-ton truck was damaged, both vehicles were able to return to base without assistance. 

However, the event was a perfect illustration of the need to replace soft skin vehicles with lightly armored vehicles. On November 6, the British Ministry of Defense signed a $278 million contract with Alvis Vickers Ltd for a new Command and Liaison Vehicle for the Armed Forces. Britain lowered its order to 401 vehicles from 486 discussed in July, but had taken an option to buy 400 more. 

The command and liaison role vehicles would be in service with the Army and the RAF from 2006, replacing the FV430 series, Saxon, Land Rover, and CVR(T). These high-mobility air-deployable vehicles are fitted with  protection against small arms fire, antipersonnel mines and other blast weapons. 

In addition to a machine-gun, the vehicle will have a Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) system that enhances situational awareness, reconnaissance, targeting and reporting. - Adam Geibel

 


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