Firms on standby for Army’s £1bn order

Multi Role Armoured Vehicle could prompt industry shake-up

By George Paloczi-Horvath

A British Army order for up to 1,000 or more Multi Role Armoured Vehicles, worth more than £1bn, could be placed by the end of next month.

The contest for the initial version of the vehicle is being managed by the German BWB procurement agency on behalf of prospective customers Britain, France and Germany.

Two international consortiums have responded to invitations to tender for the wheeled variant, known as the M2P2.

The Team International consortium includes Vickers and Alvis; the ARGE-GTK consortium includes GKN.

The Ministry of Defence said no decision would be made before March. GKN said it expected an answer by the end of that month.

The MoD said the decision, like other procurements, would be taken ‘in line with the emerging conclusions’ of the strategic defence review, which could be published in May.

The invitation to tender for the M2P2 vehicles is said to specify a six-wheeled vehicle, while the GKN offering, alleged to be the MoD’s favourite, has eight wheels.

GKN is teamed up with Germany’s Rheinmetall and Krauss Maffei and Giat of France, which may not compromise on its preference for a six-wheeler.

The more advanced version of MRAV is the M1P1. This will be a tracked vehicle.

Last year, the MoD said that it wanted to buy this off the shelf. A decision on this M1P1 project is some way off.

The MoD said last year that it would buy a total of 2,200 Multi Role Armoured Vehicles of both types, worth about £3bn.

The project could form the basis for consolidating the European armoured vehicle industry.