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Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle (MRAV)

The United Kingdom had a requirement for an armored vehicle to carry infantry into combat, to replace the FV430 family of vehicles which has been in service since 1962. In the mid-1990s, after a number of unsuccessful attempts to procure a replacement, the Department entered into a joint development with Germany and The Netherlands for a Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle weighing around 33 tonnes. However, a further requirement emerged from operations in Kosovo in 1999 and Sierra Leone in 2000-01, that to support swift intervention armoured vehicles should be rapidly deployable by air, leading to a vehicle weight limit of 17-25 tonnes. As a result, UK participation in the Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle project was cancelled in 2003. By 2008, the Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle was undergoing final testing in The Netherlands and Germany.

The Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle (MRAV) was intended to be the first truly collaborative land-system project in Europe. Part of the rationale for the program was that Europe has too many armored vehicle producers--at least seven compared to one in the US. The UK participated in this collaborative program with France and Germany for the development and initial production of a family of wheeled, armoured vehicles to meet the requirements of the three nations. The vehicle was essentially a German design with Germany supplying the automotive components, UK the basic chassis and Giat Industries the mission module. Initially, the design was to provide the Armoured Personnel Carrier and Command Vehicle versions but also allow for the development of other variants using the same base vehicle.

The consortium consisted of Krauss-Maffei/Wegmann and MAK(Germany), Alvis Vehicles (UK) and GIAT (France). The ARGE-GTK (Krauss Maffei Wehrtechnik GmbH, Rheinmetall Industrie AG /MAK System GmbH and Wegmann & Co GmbH) form the core for the German system competence in the field of armoured tracked and wheeled concepts, development, series production and modernisation. Apart from many important subsystems and assemblies, this system competence contained all the logistic aspects from the development phase through the utilisation phase. GKN is a global group whose operations in some 40 countries generate sales in excess of 3 billion. GKN Defence is the UK's leading designer and manufacturer of light and medium armoured vehicles for military, security and peacekeeping roles. Giat Industries design, produce and market complete combat systems, whether they be armoured systems (main battle tanks, recovery vehicles, information systems, logistic support, training, etc.) as well as weapon and ammunition systems (artillery, infantry, mining and mine clearing, associated munitions, logistic support , etc.).

In January 1996, the German Ministry of Defence launched an invitation to tender for the development of a new wheeled armoured personnel carrier, for which ARGE/GTK and GKN issued a common response. In July 1996, the French Ministry of Defence launched an invitation to tender for the development of a wheeled armoured infantry fighting vehicle for which Giat Industries issued a response. These two invitations to tender are based on common tri-national specifications and cover a first lot of 200 vehicles for each country.

Following a competition between two international consortia, an announcement was made on 22 April 1998, jointly with France and Germany, that Eurokonsortium (now known as ARTEC) had been selected as the preferred bidder. An extensive program of work has been set in hand to negotiate satisfactory contract terms and conditions.

Two families of vehicle were required: one consisting of highly mobile, well protected vehicles (known as M1P1) designed to operate alongside Challenger and Warrior; and the other of less mobile, less well protected vehicles (known as M2P2) designed to work in areas where there is reduced direct fire threat. The Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle (MRAV) replaces utility CVR(T), SAXON GWR and FV430 family to meet a number of support functions. Around 1,400 medium mobility, medium protection vehicles were required by the UK.

It was expected that initial production will be 600 production vehicles (200 for each country), although the potential is for up to at least 3,000 vehicles. Most vehicles were to be built in an 8 x 8 configuration although there was a possibility that there may also be some in a 6 x 6 configuration.

On 05 November 1999 the UK and Germany signed a contract with ARTEC GmbH, a consortium including Alvis Vehicles Ltd from the UK, for the development of a family of armored utility vehicles, known in the UK as the Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle (MRAV). The MRAV program would provide the British Army with a modern and flexible family of armoured utility vehicles that can operate in both high intensity conflict and in rapid reaction peace support and humanitarian operations world-wide.

By July 2003 the UK judged that the multi-role armoured vehicle (MRAV) was not ideally suited to the type of operations envisaged under the Strategic Defence Review new chapter and other developing policy work. This, coupled with recent operational experience in the Balkans, Sierra Leone, East Timor, Afghanistan and latterly Iraq, has demonstrated the need for rapid deployability in expeditionary operations. MRAV is not considered able to meet this capability requirement, which will be pursued through the future rapid effect system (FRES). FRES will be a very significant component of the long-term transformation of the land battle through its contribution to network-enabled capability. The UK wrote to the German and Dutch Governments to inform them of our decision to withdraw from the MRAV collaborative project.








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