Army Chief: New Vehicles 'Immensely Impressive'
(Source: British Forces News; issued Sept 20, 2018)
The Head of the Army says the service's new vehicles are "immensely impressive". The UK intends to make an initial purchase of 500 Boxer vehicles as part of a programme to supply the Army with a fleet of the eight-wheeled armoured vehicles.

Defence Minister Stuart Andrew yesterday said the programme had taken a "big step" forward while visiting Defence Vehicle Dynamics (DVD) - a two-day exhibition showcasing the defence industry's latest technology.

General Mark Carleton-Smith visited the second day of DVD on Thursday. "I personally have been introduced for the first time to a number of new technologies," the Chief of the General Staff told Forces News.

"I've particularly seen the Boxer, the mechanised infantry fighting vehicle that we're looking to have, and the Joint Tactical Vehicle which will replace our Land Rover fleet. Both have been immensely impressive."

Also on display was a new missile launcher, manufactured by MBDA, called 'The Enforcer' which is also capable of being fired from a drone.

Although the concept is not new, Stephen Scott, head of future battlefield weapons at MBDA, said it is: "Cheaper, more capable but crucially (it will) make the effect more readily available to people like company commanders who may not necessarily have easy access to close air support, from say, attack helicopters or larger drones."

The British Army's main battle tank, the Challenger 2, was also at the event. The tank was designed and manufactured by BAE Systems, entered service in 1998 - however, its life is being extended until 2035.

Two companies are currently bidding for the contract to do this - BAE Systems who were showcasing their prototype 'Black Night' and Rheinmetall, who are yet to reveal their plans.

Simon Jackson, campaign leader for the Challenger 2, told Forces News: "What we've got on Challenger 2 Mark 2 is a new Commander's panoramic sight which is now fully 24 hours - so it’s got a thermal channel and an optical channel, so that gives us a full 24-hour hunter capability.

"We've also put onto the vehicle a driver's night vision system, and we've also put onto the platform some laser warning receivers, to help detect threats."

The prototype also has a new Commander's crew station.

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