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Armoured Vehicles

Volume 453: debated on Monday 27 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what factors he took into account when deciding to purchase a combination of Cougar and Vector Pinzgauer armoured vehicles rather than one large batch of one type of vehicle. (100922)

These vehicles provide different capabilities. Vector is relatively light and agile and has high levels of terrain accessibility, particularly over rugged terrain. These factors make it particularly suited for long range patrols, which are a feature of operations in Afghanistan.

The heavier Cougar vehicle, which will be known as Mastiff when in service with UK armed forces, provides higher levels of protection, but is larger and less agile over rugged terrain. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 6 November 2006, Official Report, column 797W, which covered the factors considered in order to meet the requirement for a medium Protected Patrol Vehicle.

Alongside other platforms, Vector and Mastiff will provide commanders with a range of vehicles of varying protection, mobility and profile, to be used according to operational circumstances.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Cougar and (b) Vector Pinzgauer armoured vehicles are being purchased by his Department. (100923)

We are currently procuring around 100 Cougar vehicles, to be known as MASTIFF when in service with UK armed forces, and around 160 VECTOR vehicles.