DSEi 2011: Lockheed Martin highlights upgraded Warrior
Centre stage at Lockheed Martin UK’s stand at DSEi is its proposal for the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP) to comprehensively modernise the British Army’s 30-year old Warrior IFV.
BAE Systems Global Combat Systems was also competing for the WCSP, with a solution based on a completely new turret, until its bid was ruled non-compliant by the MoD earlier this year leaving Lockheed Martin the only contender for the project.
Industry sources believe an announcement about the WCSP project will be made by Peter Luff, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, or possibly Defence Secretary Liam Fox to coincide with DSEi.
Lockheed Martin UK is offering an upgraded version of the original Warrior turret which it argues provides a more cost effective solution than a completely new turret design. Partners on the bid include the Defence Support Group; Rheinmetall Defence (weapon mount); SCISYS (electronic architecture); Meggitt (ammunition handling system); Ultra Electronics (power; driver instrument panel); Thales UK (Battlegroup Thermal Imaging; sights); and, Curtiss Wright (servo system). The upgraded turrets will be protected by appliqué armour and feature larger hatches to allow easier access by crew members wearing combat body armour. Both the driver and commander are provided with new mine blast resistant seats.
The MoD has stipulated that WCSP turrets and the turret on the General Dynamics UK, Scout reconnaissance vehicle will be armed with the CTA International 40mm Cased Telescoped Cannon and Ammunition system which is being provided as Government Furnished Equipment. General Dynamics UK has subcontracted Lockheed Martin UK to develop a new turret for the Scout. The MoD has stipulated that there should be a high degree of commonality between the WCSP and Scout turrets.
Chassis updates to the Warrior include electronic, environmental, power and survivability improvements. A modular protection system across the chassis enables the quick change and adaptation to mission specific or in-theatre threats. Examples of protection include bar armour, ERA and ‘special armours to be fitted or removed easily upon heavy damage’.
The army’s original plan to upgrade up to 449 “gun vehicles” has been reduced in scope as the Future Force 2020 structure introduced in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) only requires six armoured infantry battalions, one in each of five new multirole brigades (MRBs) and the training battle group at the Land Warfare Centre, instead of the eight battalions previously equipped.
Moreover, the new force rotation cycle only requires one MRB to be deployed, or on high readiness to deploy, and second brigade preparing for deployment and the other brigades at extended readiness times with reduced equipment holdings.
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