A decision on the winning bid for the multi-billion pound pan-European ‘battlefield taxi’ contract was imminent this week, according to the German defence ministry.
Vickers which aims to focus on its defence business following the sale of Rolls-Royce Motors to BMW is involved in the bid through a team led by Germany’s Henschel. However, the frontrunner in the bid process is German-owned Krauss Maffei, which is partnered with Vickers’ rival GKN.
The contract could be worth up to £1bn to the UK, which is expected to take an initial 300 MRAVs for the British Army.
The GKN team has offered both eight and six-wheeled vehicles. The eight wheeler has been favoured by the BWB, the German defence procurement agency running the project.
The BWB’s preference prompted the Vickers team to offer its own eight wheeler two weeks ago, alongside its six-wheeled MRAV.
However, sources claim that the German defence ministry has ruled out the Henschel/Vickers revised bid because it was allegedly unacceptable under German tender regulations.
The Vickers team has also proposed building competitive prototypes of six and eight-wheeled versions of both consortia’s MRAVs.
Opinion, page 12