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The Army's Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle is to be give a £1 billion upgrade.
The vehicles will be fitted with an improved turret and new stabilised 40mm cannon, enabling them to fire while on the move. The upgraded vehicles will also benefit from a new standard armour mounting system, providing the flexibility to fit different types of armour and adapt to future protection technology.
The Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP) will extend the vehicles' service life to beyond 2040, ensuring that Warrior will be available for the future conduct of land operations.
The MOD plans to award a contract to Lockheed Martin UK for the demonstration and manufacture of the upgraded vehicles. The award of this contract will create and sustain around 600 British jobs across the country within Lockheed Martin UK and its supply chain.
Announcing the upgrade, the Prime Minister David Cameron said:
"Warrior has performed outstandingly well in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and now Afghanistan, and this programme will enable it to remain effective to the 2040s. It's also good news for British business: supporting the UK's defence industry and providing 600 jobs from Farnborough to Glasgow."
The Government claims that this announcement follows it's recent commitment to a one per cent a year real term increase in the MOD's equipment and support budget from 2015 - the equivalent to an extra £3 billion.
The Warrior has been in service with the British Army since 1989 and has distinguished itself on the battlefield throughout its extensive deployments including in Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and it continues to do so in Afghanistan. The upgraded Warriors are expected to enter service by 2020, with the first deliveries beginning in 2018. There's picture on Facebok under U K Defence Forum.
Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Peter Wall, said:
"This upgrade to one of the Army's most important fighting vehicles is extremely welcome. Warrior will continue to be at the heart of our combat capability for at least
another 25 years with state of the art firepower and electronics. Wherever the Army deploys, our infantry will depend on its superior protection, mobility, and lethality. This will be a battle-winner."
The cannon programme is the product of Anglo-French cooperation through CTA International, a joint venture between BAE Global Combat Systems Munitions and Nexter Munitions. The upgraded Warriors will also benefit from a new electronic architecture, able to work with advancing technology.