British Army Warrior infantry fighting vehicles are set for a major boost in combat effectiveness by 2013 if a BAE Systems bid to upgrade the fleet is successful.
The bid, submitted a day before the November 18 deadline, is for the £1bn Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP), which will provide the mainstay of the Infantry’s frontline fleet in Afghanistan and future conflicts.
It features a new turret and weapon system to increase firepower; a fully digital ‘operating system’ to improve fightability and survivability, and allow plug-and-play future upgrades; and a modular armour system for quick and simple adjustments to protect against ever-changing threats.
BAE Systems has invested over £40m of its own money in developing the new gun, turret and electronic architecture to ensure the equipment can be delivered to the front line on time and to budget.
Says Jan Söderström, managing director of BAE Systems’ Vehicles business: “As the manufacturer of Warrior, we took the view that modifying the existing turret was not a satisfactory solution as it could raise safety issues.”
“Instead, we have developed a completely new design which fully meets the UK Ministry of Defence’s protection requirements. It has many similarities with our FRES Scout turret to maximise the benefits of commonality in areas such as training and logistics.”
BAE Systems has delivered over 40 Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs) for Warrior in the last five years, many of them working closely with the Defence Support Group, and this experience has also fed into two other areas of its bid — the Enhanced Electronic Architecture (WEEA) and the Modular Protection System (WMPS).
Under WCSP 643 vehicles will receive WEEA and WMPS. 449 of them will also get the new turret and weapon system under the WFLIP (Warrior Fightability and Lethality Improvement Programme). The remaining vehicles will carry out other roles including repair and recovery.