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Procurement and use of Armoured Fighting Vehicles inquiry launched

17 July 2020

The Defence Committee inquiry will focus on the procurement and use of AFVs and ask whether more must be done to ensure the Army's ability to deploy its armoured division.

This inquiry will attempt to understand how the Army envisages employing their AFVs in future operations. Additionally, it will examine the procurement of AFVs, including how much has been spent procuring AFVs over the last 20 years and how many vehicles have been acquired.

The inquiry will ask which capabilities have been sacrificed in order to fund overruns in its core armoured vehicles and which key gaps are emerging with the Army's armoured vehicle capability.

The Committee will ask whether the Army is currently on track to be able to field the Strike Brigades and armoured division in line with the recommendations of the 2015 SDSR, and how flexible the army can be in adapting its current armoured vehicle plans to the results of the Integrated Review.

The Committee will ask whether the Army will be able to match the potential threat posed by peer adversaries by 2025.

Additionally, the inquiry will examine the successes and failures of current programmes such as the Warrior CSP and Ajax, and ask what lessons were learned from the previous Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) programme.

The Committee will ask whether the UK would benefit from a land vehicles industrial strategy and what sovereign capability for the design and production of armoured vehicles does the UK retain.

Chair's comments

Chair of the Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood MP, said:

“Armoured Fighting Vehicles are a critical tool in the Army's arsenal, yet for years many have voiced concerns around the current fleets ability to contend with newer, contemporary models and match rapid advancements in military technology”

“Unfortunately, the MoD's attempts to address the issue have repeatedly met with bumps in the road, from overspending and underdelivering, to the stagnation of programmes designed to enhance or replace outmoded vehicles. The Government has been playing catch up, and this inquiry will attempt to understand the ongoing barriers to modernisation.

“Modernising must be a priority for the MoD. Deploying an aging fleet leaves personnel vulnerable- the consequences of which may prove lethal.

“This inquiry will attempt to gauge the current capabilities of the Army's Armoured Fighting Vehicles and establish whether the fleet is fit for purpose.”

Further information

Image: Open Government Licence v3.0.