Work has started on a fleet of over 200 new ‘go anywhere’ vehicles which will greatly improve the protection of British troops in Afghanistan.
Under a contract worth almost £120m, the US company Navistar Defense is building and supporting the new Husky vehicle which has been designed for a range of missions including transporting food, water and ammunition, and acting as a command vehicle at headquarters. Some vehicles will be fitted out as protected ambulances.
The contract also sees British firm Dytecna, who are based in Malvern, carrying out specified vehicle modifications and installation of various electronic and communication systems to ensure that Husky meets the British Army’s requirements.
Minister for Defence Equipment and Support Quentin Davies said:
“Getting the right vehicles and equipment to our Armed Forces has always been an absolute priority. I am sure that Navistar will bring energy and commitment into delivering these much needed vehicles to our troops in good time.
“I am also pleased that British industry is playing a full part in this exciting project and that a British company, Dytecna, is able to deliver high quality equipment for our Armed Forces.”
Equipped with a machine gun, the new protected support vehicle is designed to provide commanders with a highly mobile and flexible load-carrying vehicle for the troops on operations.
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Wills, Tactical Support Vehicle Programme Manager in Defence Equipment and Support’s Protected Mobility Team, said:
“The Husky vehicle provides a robust and very mobile protected support vehicle for operations. The design has picked up on many of the lessons from current operations.
“Throughout the process to date, Navistar Defense and their UK integrator Dytecna Ltd have been extremely proactive. With the first prototype having arrived in the UK already, we look forward to getting to grips with trials and integration work.”
Husky will join its sister vehicles Wolfhound and Coyote as part of the £350m Tactical Support Vehicle programme announced last year which will buy over 400 new armoured support trucks to accompany our existing patrols carrying the essential supplies such as water and ammunition.
- In October 2008, the Defence Secretary John Hutton announced the allocation of over £700M for an extra 700 vehicles to further improve the safety and protection of our troops on operations in Afghanistan.
- This £700M announcement included:
- £350M for over 400 new armoured support trucks to accompany our existing patrols carrying essential supplies such as water and ammunition. The three distinct categories of Tactical Support Vehicles (TSV) are:
- WOLFHOUND: TSV (Heavy): Heavy armoured support trucks: Supporting and re-supplying our Mastiffs in the highest threat areas. These vehicles will have the highest levels of mine blast protection;
- HUSKY: TSV (Medium): Medium armoured support trucks: Carrying out the support roles in lower threat areas and where heavy vehicles, like Mastiff, cannot be used;
- COYOTE: TSV (Light): Light armoured support vehicles: supporting our go-anywhere Jackals across the harsh terrain of Afghanistan.
- WARTHOG: Over 100 brand new cross-country vehicles with greater protection levels, replacing Vikings in Afghanistan;
- Over 100 more Jackals, extremely agile all-terrain vehicles, with high-levels of off-road mobility and firepower.
- Development of a specialist route clearance system including the Buffalo mine protected vehicle, at a cost of £96M, giving us a new high- tech way of dealing with the IED threat.
- The contract is a significant development in the growth of Dytecna Ltd in its ambitions to become an international engineering business. The contract will see the opening of a new manufacturing facility in Tewkesbury and expansion of the engineering design and production teams at the current Malvern site.
- Navistar Defense is an affiliate of Navistar International Corporation, a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International brand commercial and military trucks, MaxxForce brand diesel engines, IC brand school and commercial buses, and Workhorse brand chassis for motor homes and step vans.