Battle wagon

A team led by BAE Systems has been assembled to deliver a fleet of medium-weight armoured fighting vehicles for the British Army.

The team, which includes Cranfield University, GE Aviation, Qinetiq, SAIC and Selex Sensors & Airborne Systems, will compete for the role of Vehicle Integrator for the ‘Utility’ family of Future Rapid Effect Systems (FRES).

The successful bidder is expected to take an overseas vehicle design, and customise, manufacture and support it through life to meet UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) requirements.

The vehicle will be based on an eight-wheeled design currently being selected by the MoD. It is expected to enter service from 2012.

The £16bn FRES programme will provide the British Army with up to 17 vehicle variants in five families for a wide range of battlefield tasks. These vehicles will be heavily protected but light enough to be deployed by air.

BAE Systems Land Systems would lead the delivery of the Utility Vehicle family programme in the alliance, which would be headed by the MoD.

It would move offshore manufacture to the UK and carry out final assembly, integration and test of the vehicles at its Newcastle plant. Its Leicester site would lead engineering work, with support activity at Telford.