General Dynamics to build British Army's next light tank

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Scout SV PMRS variant in mobility demonstration (Image: General Dynamics)

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The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded General Dynamics UK a contract to deliver 589 light-armor Scout Specialist Vehicles (SV) to the Army between 2017 and 2024. The tracked, medium-weight armored vehicle is designed to provide state-of-the-art, best-in-class protection for its crews.

The high-agility Scout SV will form the medium core of the Army’s Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability. Based on a design weight limit of 42 tonnes (46 tons), the Scout comes in six variants based on a common platform with shared mobility, electronics, and survivability systems, has an open electronic architecture, a modular armor system, and places emphasis on the ability to upgrade in order to incorporate new technology and meet new threats.

The Scout variants include Reconnaissance, Protected Mobility Reconnaissance Support (PMRS), Command and Control, Engineering Reconnaissance, Repair, and Recovery. According to General Dynamics, these are designed to provide best-in-class protection and survivability, reliability, mobility and all-weather ISTAR capabilities for a wide range of extended military operations with a reduced logistics footprint. With its main armament in its turret-mounted 40-mm cannon, the Scout also has acoustic detectors, a laser warning system, a local situational awareness system, an electronic countermeasure system, a route-marking system, and a high-performance power pack.

The announced contract also includes the provision of support and training by General Dynamics for the delivered vehicles, It also secures 1,300 jobs in Britain, with 300 of these at General Dynamics facility in Oakdale, Wales, where the Scout was developed.

"I'm delighted that on the eve of the NATO Summit, we can announce the biggest single contract for [armored fighting vehicles] for the British Army since the 1980s,” says Prime Minister David Cameron. “These new vehicles are testament to the world class engineering skills in South Wales and across the UK, helping to create the Army's first fully digitalized armored vehicles. Not only will they be crucial in helping to keep Britain safe, they will also underpin nearly 1,300 jobs across the UK and showcase the strength of the UK's highly skilled defence sector. With the second largest defence budget in NATO, meeting NATO's two per cent of GDP spending target and investing in new capabilities to deal with the emerging threats we are ensuring Britain's national security, staying at the forefront of the global race and providing leadership within NATO."

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