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Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the funding announced for stage 1 of the Future Rapid Effect System will affect funding available for future purchases of mine-protected vehicles. (205583)

The MOD has recognised that there is an urgent need to address the risks faced by our soldiers on current operations. To address this need we are implementing a range of measures including the introduction of protected mobility equipment such as Mastiff, which has proved its value on operations, offering high levels of protection against mines and roadside bombs.

The procurement of protected mobility equipment is managed and funded entirely separately from the Future Rapid Effect System programme and will therefore not be affected.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what mine protection features the Piranha V vehicle will have; (205584)

(2) what additional capability will be afforded to the Army with phase 1 of the Future Rapid Effect System;

(3) whether the Piranha V will be designed to allow damaged parts to be unbolted and replaced after an explosive strike.

The Piranha V vehicle hull is shaped to offer protection from the mine blast and the underside of the vehicle is reinforced with appliqué armour to offer additional protection to the crew.

Phase 1 of FRES, which I have interpreted as the utility vehicle (UV), will deliver a fleet of wheeled medium weight armoured vehicles with higher levels of deployability and survivability than our current in service lighter armoured vehicles can achieve, with the potential to grow its capability as new technology becomes available. The UV fleet will cover the protected mobility, command and control, medical, repair and recovery and driver training roles. Other elements of the utility fleet to be delivered in later planned increments include specialist communications, electronic warfare and sensor vehicles.

The FRES utility vehicle will be designed for a modular armour solution. This will allow damaged sections to be unbolted and replaced.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what types of warfare the Future Rapid Effect System medium weight capability will be suitable. (205585)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 6 December 2007, Official Report, column 1402W, which details the type of warfare for which the FRES medium weight capability will be suitable.