The US firm awarded a potential £4bn contract for the British Army’s next-generation armoured fighting vehicles has claimed its production programme will create thousands of UK jobs.
The General Dynamics ASCOD SV (Specialist Vehicle) tracked vehicle design was chosen by the MoD for the demonstration phase of the SV competition, providing the Scout variant and the Common Base Platform for up to 580 SV vehicles.
‘We offered the best-integrated solution, the best growth potential over the 30-year life of the vehicle, the best value for money for the British taxpayer and the best deal for the UK industrial base,’ said Sandy Wilson, president and managing director of General Dynamics UK.
Referring to criticism that a UK contract was awarded to a US firm, Wilson said: ‘The ASCOD SV programme is British to its bootstraps, delivering a military off-the-shelf vehicle with British design by British engineers to the British Army while safeguarding or creating 10,600 jobs for British workers.’
He added that 80 per cent of the ASCOD SV’s full-rate production will be based in the UK.
The new jobs secured or created through the programme will be located in South Wales, where General Dynamics UK is based, as well as Scotland, the north of England, the north west, the East and West Midlands, and the east and south of England.
General Dynamics UK has sub-contracted Lockheed Martin UK INSYS to produce the turret of the Scout variant of the ASCOD SV and will transfer full-rate production of the entire ASCOD SV programme to DSG in Donnington.
Wilson claimed that the ASCOD SV is capable of delivering load-carrying growth potential of up to 42 tonnes, relying on a redesigned drivetrain. ‘This means that ASCOD SV is capable now of being equipped to meet future threats likely to appear over its entire 30-year life, without the need to upgrade its engine or transmission during that time,’ he said.