Swedish arm could join Alvis MRAV bid

Recent acquisition of tank maker could help in £2bn deal

The £75m acquisition by Alvis of Swedish armoured vehicle maker Hegglunds could lead to the Swedish company joining an Alvis bid for half of the British Army’s £2bn multi-role armoured vehicle (MRAV) project.

Nick Prest, Alvis chairman, said teams had not been formed for the ‘high mobility, high protection’ version of the vehicle, called MRAV M1 P1 by the Ministry of Defence.

‘Alvis has yet to determine its bidding strategy towards it, but the acquisition of Hegglunds certainly provides interesting input and we would expect to use it in our bid, either independently or with someone else,’ Prest said.

MRAV M1 P1 looks like being a tracked vehicle and could be a national programme, unlike the other half of MRAV, which is a collaborative effort with Germany and France.

The ground is open on which other major UK armoured vehicle maker – GKN or Vickers – Alvis will team with for MRAV M1 P1. Alvis is already teamed with Vickers and Germany’s Henschel for the other half of MRAV, the ‘medium mobility, medium protection’ or M2 P2 variant.

The Vickers-Alvis-Henschel outfit faces a rival bid from GKN, teamed with Germany’s Krauss Maffei and Rheinmetall.

A development contract for MRAV will be let in June 1998, according to the MoD. But Prest said ‘the decision should be made early next year’.

The MoD intends to order up to 1,000 of each MRAV version to replace existing armoured vehicles from 2007, but numbers could be reduced by the present defence review.