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House of Commons Hansard
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Armoured Fighting Vehicles
11 March 2010
Volume 507
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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when he expects the delivery of the order for the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle to be completed; [321708]

(2) pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 15 December 2009, Official Report, column 802, on Future Defence Programme, whether the £280 million funding for the new vehicles includes funding for the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle;

(3) when he expects the assessment phase of the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle programme to be completed;

(4) what the cost of the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle order is to (a) his Department's core budget and (b) the contingency reserve;

(5) whether a target (a) main gate and (b) in-service date has been set for the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle;

(6) how many tranches will form the full order of the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle; and what the total number of vehicles will be.

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Two contenders, which could fill the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV) requirement, are currently being assessed as part of a Concept Vehicle Evaluation. It is expected that this assessment phase will be complete in early April 2010. It is currently assessed that 200 LPPV will meet the need in Afghanistan. These 200 vehicles will form the first batch ordered under an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) as soon as the design was ready, in order to get them into theatre as quickly as possible.

Until the full military requirement has been refined we judge that it makes sense to order an initial batch of 200 vehicles with a view to further buys in future. Buying vehicles in tranches allows us to learn lessons, to modify the vehicle if necessary and helps speed up the delivery of future orders.

Due to commercial sensitivities, and while the full requirement is being refined, I am unable to comment on the likely cost of the full LPPV order, or the funding arrangements. I can, however, confirm that the initial batch of 200 vehicles will be funded from the Treasury reserve as a UOR. This will be over and above the £280 million for additional equipment announced by the Secretary of State for Defence on 15 December 2009. A business case will be submitted for the initial 200 vehicles in the coming weeks, once the assessment is complete. As the contract for the LPPV requirement has yet to be let, delivery details cannot be confirmed at this stage as they are still subject to commercial negotiations, but we intend that they should be delivered in 2011.