There has been widespread media reporting this weekend of the Prime Minister’s announcement that the Government is to begin the process of procuring a brand new Light Protected Patrol Vehicle to replace the Snatch Land Rover.
The MOD is currently assessing a range of cutting-edge vehicles specifically designed to meet the requirements of both manoeuvrability and armoured protection. These will be world-beating British-built vehicles and will provide unprecedented levels of protection for their weight class.
The Defence Secretary, Bob Ainsworth, will make a fuller statement on this shortly.
Initially, the Government expects to buy in the region of 200 vehicles to be funded through the Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) process.
There have been a number of reports that the announcement of 200 vehicles is half what the Government had previously agreed. As Armed Forces Minister Bill Rammell made clear in a statement on Sunday, ‘there are no cuts to the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle programme’. The position on the overall requirement remains as set out in February 2009.
We have decided that in order to get vehicles out to theatre as soon as possible, once the design is ready, we will procure a first batch of 200 Light Protected Patrol Vehicles urgently under a UOR, funded by the Treasury Reserve. Buying in batches is standard practice as it allows us to learn from experience for the next batch and further procurement may take place in the future.
As with most military procurements, exactly how many we order and exactly when we order them will not be finalised until the last contract is signed.