SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY VEHICLE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS
Moving Forward to the Future Don McBarnet, Staff Writer
here are two significant drivers on the management of armoured vehicles for land warfare; the drawdown from Afghanistan from 2014 and the powerful downward pressure on budgets. There is a certain countervailing force from cost control, because the greater the need to economise, the greater the need to maintain and repair current and legacy vehicles to avoid replacement costs.
The British National Audit Office Notes the Impact of Decision Making on Future Capability The hallmark of the British acquisition of armoured vehicles has been the stop-go-pause nature of the procurement process, which has affected land and recovery vehicles. The National Audit Office summarises the process tersely. “The failure to deliver key armoured vehicle programmes under the standard acquisition process will delay the implementation of the Department’s policy for sufficiently capable, flexible, mobile land forces. The delays that have arisen from cancelled or suspended armoured vehicle projects will result in the Armed Forces not being fully equipped with the vehicles identified as top priorities in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, until at least 2024-25.
Faced with rapid changes to equipment requirements driven by operational experience, these unwieldy processes have contributed to a number of armoured vehicle projects being delayed or abandoned. This has led the Department to place greater reliance on the Urgent Operational Requirements process to provide equipment for recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Department spent over £2.8 billion in the same period on upgrading and buying new vehicles through the Urgent Operational Requirements process. While much of this expenditure would probably have been necessary due to the specific nature of the threats faced in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would have been lower had more armoured vehicle projects from the Department’s core programme been delivered as originally planned.”16 Further comment is unnecessary.
In the United States, the National Defense University Remarks on the Stress Caused by the Intensity of Operations In a report to the Appropriations Committee of Congress in 2010-12, the National Defense University notes a number of forces affecting budgets and readiness: www.defenceindustryreports.com | 13
Defence Industry – Special Report on Military Vehicle Recovery Solutions