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Defence: Equipment

Volume 502: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress is being made in the (a) procurement, (b) production and (c) delivery to combat zones in Afghanistan of vehicles offering increased protection against roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices. (306517)

We are continuously delivering improvements to our fleet of protected vehicles in Afghanistan to ensure that they meet operational requirements. By the end of this year the number of vehicles in theatre will have increased by 36 per cent. since August; this includes 93 per cent. more Mastiff and 77 per cent. more Ridgback. We are also buying Warthog vehicles to replace the Viking on operations in Afghanistan, and, as announced by the Prime Minister on 1 September their delivery is being brought forward. The first Coyote and Husky vehicles have been delivered to training, and the first vehicles will deploy to Afghanistan before the end of the year.

We are also looking to the future and anticipating new threats, and have begun a programme to develop the next generation of light protected patrol vehicles.