After spending several hundred million pounds on several different replacement programs for the CVR(T), they ended up with just doing everything that should have been done in the first place to improve the series. Even with the Budget Crunch the MoD is facing, this is probably the most cost effective solution. My guess is that these little tankettes will soldier on for another decade or so. (Baby Merkavas?)
Another couple of hundred million or so would have Scimitar turret upgraded with the CTA 40mm Case Telescopic Weapon System and mated to a Stormer hull. Then all they need is full stabilization of the gun… But that would be the beginning as the Spartan, Samson, Samaritan & Sultan have been rehulled, reengined, etc. If the entire family had been rehulled, and upgraded with the Stormer hull, it would indeed give the CVR(T) a new lease on life.
However, that edges into the province of being an all new replacement. That just cannot happen as the end result of all those hundreds of millions of wasted pounds must be fruitful. The General Dynamics ASCOD, the winner of the FRES SV competition, must be allowed into the British Army.
It’s just that, now with the current British Government looking to save several billion pounds, you have to wonder if the program will ever see production. If it does, how long before they actually start replacing the CVR(T) in service?
(Source: U.K Ministry of Defence; issued September 15, 2011)
The first of the enhanced Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) [CVR(T)] fleet is now operational on the front line in Afghanistan.
The main task of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers is to overwatch the battlespace either side of Highways 1 and 611, the two main supply routes that run through the Task Force Helmand area of operations.
BAE Systems has upgraded the armour on all five vehicles that make up the CVR(T) family – Scimitar, Spartan, Samson, Sultan and Samaritan – through an Urgent Operational Requirement process worth around £30m. CVR(T) is on display in the UK for the first time this week at the DSEi defence and security equipment show, currently taking place in London.
As part of the contract, the vehicles have been re-hulled to give better mine-blast protection for troops, and improved armour added for enhanced resistance to blasts and ballistics, as well as new mine-blast protection seating in every position in every variant. Other enhancements include repositioned foot controls and a revamped fuel system.
Scimitar Mark 2 builds on a number of upgrades that have previously been made to the CVR(T), which address the problems experienced while operating in the harsh Afghan environment. These previous upgrades have included improved power output, new gearboxes and transmissions, air-conditioning, improved communications, air filters and night-vision systems.
The Scimitar Mark 2s are proving a hit with the troops. Sergeant Matthew Pook, aged 31, from Hinckley in Leicestershire, has served on operations in Kosovo, Iraq and Bosnia and has seen previous versions of the vehicle in action. He said:
“Significant progress has been made with the vehicle since I first used it. It makes you feel more confident when out on the ground. The old ones needed regular maintenance and fixing, which is hard work at the end of a day.”
Trooper Ashley Doyle, aged 21, from Plymouth, praised the changes to the vehicle. He said:
“Where we operate, it’s a lot safer to move around in vehicles because they act as a deterrent against the insurgents. This new vehicle can cope with all the terrain in the Green Zone, even irrigation ditches, because of the new suspension.”
Lieutenant Ed Aitken, aged 25, from London, is Troop Leader of 1st Troop, Formation Reconnaissance Squadron:
“Our area of operation is 250 square kilometres so the mobility the CVR(T) has allows us to have an effect on the area that we wouldn’t otherwise achieve,” he said. “The Highway is an arterial supply route so security is essential. Without vehicles such as this, it wouldn’t be possible.” (ends)
BAE Systems Delivers Tougher Recce Vehicles for Afghan Ops
(Source: BAE Systems; issued September 15, 2011)
TELFORD, United Kingdom — BAE Systems has delivered improved versions of the Scimitar recce vehicle family with tougher new hulls and a range of other upgrades. The first vehicles are now providing improved crew protection for British Army crews in Afghanistan.
Five variants of the CVR(T) (Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance –Tracked) family are being upgraded to the Mk 2 standard as part of this fast-moving and cost-effective Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) programme. In addition to the Scimitar Mk 2 reconnaissance vehicle, the supporting Spartan troop carrier, Samson repair & recovery, Sultan command post and Samaritan ambulance are being re-hulled at a total cost of less than £30m.
The new Telford design, based on the Spartan hull, is fabricated from aluminium at BAE Systems’ Wolverhampton site and incorporates a range of design changes to improve mine blast protection, improve vehicle maintainability and reduce support costs while minimising weight growth.
“In addition to the change in material, the new hull for the Scimitar Mk 2 is based on the Spartan variant,” explains project manager Pete Hallows. “This change gives vital extra headroom within the driver’s area to fit a blast attenuation seat, while providing an additional escape route through the new rear door.
Hallows adds: “The modern alloy also enhances corrosion resistance, which means reduced maintenance and therefore reduced through-life costs.”
News of the upgrade follows a programme announced in June called Warrior Theatre Entry Standard (HERRICK), also known as TES(H), which has similarly boosted protection and mobility on Warrior infantry fighting vehicles in Afghanistan. Engineers on the two programmes shared feedback from the front line and testing to optimise design solutions in areas such as protection, suspension and seating.
The Mk 2 follows earlier upgrades which gave CVR(T) a new engine, add-on armour and better engine cooling and air filtration to cope with operation in hot, dusty climates.
More than two thousand CVR(T)s are in service with non-UK customers and BAE Systems is marketing the CVR(T) Mk 2 and earlier upgrade technology to them.
CVR(T) Mk 2 changes include:
— new mine-blast protection seating in every position in every variant
— redesigned and repositioned driver foot controls to reduce lower limb mine blast injuries
— improved appliqué armour to improve blast and ballistic protection
— upgraded torsion-bar suspension to improve vehicle mobility
— revamped fuel system and tanks
— a heavier-duty winch on the Samson variant, and many other minor changes.
A new power distribution system, including a new rotary base junction, provides improved power management between chassis and turret and will enable further systems upgrades in the future. An ongoing non-UOR brake upgrade programme will result in a retrofit to the vehicles next year.
Contract award for CVR(T) Mk 2 was in December 2010, following an earlier risk mitigation programme. The upgrade was developed, tested and managed by the Vehicles Military & Technical Services team at BAE Systems’ Telford site. The team also co-ordinated vehicle build at the nearby DSG (Defence Support Group), Donnington facility. All 50 vehicles will be delivered by early 2012.
UK sub-contractors on the programme include Jankel (Weybridge, Surrey), Allen Vanguard (Tewskbury), MTL (Sheffield), ACGB (Kettering), Tinsley Bridge (Sheffield), Horstman (Bath), Moog (Reading), Friction Hydraulics (Telford), W A Lewis (Shrewsbury), Park Precision (Weymouth, Dorset), ABEC (Birmingham), Permali (Gloucester) Park Sheet Metal (Coventry), AB Connectors (Mountain Ash, Wales) and Thales (Glasgow).