To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the role and establishment of (a) the FV430, and (b) the Bulldog, range of armoured vehicles in the British Army. [HL355]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect on the combat effectiveness of a British armoured or mechanised brigade if it had no FV430 or Bulldog range of armoured vehicles. [HL356]
The role of the FV430/Bulldog is to provide protected transport for up to 10 soldiers, with weapons and equipment in battlefield conditions. Vehicles have also been adapted to provide engineer support, communications, recovery and repair and ambulances. The FV430 is being phased out to meet automotive legislation and a proportion of the fleet is being converted into Bulldog. The intention is to convert 900 FV430 into Bulldog. To date we have completed 744 conversions.
Bulldog is an important part of the vehicle inventory. Without it all Mechanised Brigades would be ineffective, and all Armoured Brigades would be without combat support.
Bulldog is not currently deployed in Afghanistan, but it performed well in Iraq. Land operations in Afghanistan mainly require light role forces, hence the temporary re-roling of four infantry battalions from the mechanised and armoured roles. Bulldog's utility on operations is continually considered but it is currently not the best solution for the specific protection and mobility requirements of operations in Afghanistan.