BAE Systems’ programme to deliver 60 Terrier vehicles to the British Army has taken two important steps forward.
Manufacture of the first Terrier production hull began on 27 January at the company’s Newcastle plant. In a ceremony attended by senior staff from both the MoD Combat Wheels Group and BAE Systems’ suppliers, visitors saw machining operations on the first side plate commence.
Attendees at the production launch ceremony were able to see first hand the £2m investment in process and machinery which has been put in place to support Terrier production — both have been overhauled to improve build efficiency and maximise build quality.
The first Terrier hull will be used in mine blast trials to demonstrate improved protection levels introduced by modifications resulting from experience gained on other vehicles during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The complete hull will be available for trials towards the end of this year. Assembly, integration and test of the first production vehicle is scheduled to commence in the first half of 2011.
BAE Systems Terrier team leader, Paul Dale, explained, “Our goal with these trials is to provide the Ministry of Defence with confidence that Terrier is on track to meet the exacting reliability levels prescribed for the vehicle.
“The reliability targets set within the Terrier contract represent a significant increase over the reliability requirements associated with Armoured Fighting Vehicles currently in service with the British Army. In successfully completing the performance trial, Terrier has demonstrated a step improvement in reliability beyond that seen during the early phases of the programme.”