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Armoured Vehicles

Volume 449: debated on Monday 24 July 2006

18. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with defence manufacturers concerning armoured vehicles capable of withstanding improvised explosive devices. (87202)

I announced an urgent review of protected vehicles for operations on 26 June. Today in a written statement I confirmed that this review had highlighted the requirement for a protected vehicle with capabilities between those of the heavily armoured Warrior and the light and manoeuvrable Snatch Land Rover. As the statement explained we shall buy around 100 additional Vector vehicles, up-armour a further 70 430 series armoured personnel carriers and introduce around 100 Cougar wheeled armoured vehicles.

21. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the availability of UK armoured vehicles in theatres of war. (87205)

As at 16 July, the availability of armoured vehicles deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan generally exceeded our targets.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times armoured vehicles broke down in Iraq between January and May 2006, broken down by vehicle type. (84803)

We keep records of vehicle availability, rather than each breakdown, to allow for more efficient fleet management. This also provides a clearer picture for commanders on the ground of the assets at their disposal. Between January and May 2006 vehicle availability for UK forces in Iraq was:

Vehicle

Availability (Percentage)

Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank and Challenger 2 Armoured Recovery Vehicle

77

Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle and Armoured Fighting Vehicle 432

81

Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked)

85

Saxon Wheeled Armoured Personnel Carrier

93

Snatch Protected Patrol Vehicle

90