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Armoured infantry fighting vehicles contribute to all mission types, including high intensity warfighting, peacekeeping, peace enforcement, counter insurgency, and deterrence. They are currently deployed as part of NATOs Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) mission, which aims to establish a conventional deterrent in Eastern Europe. Analysis confirms the deterrent effect of forward-deployed heavy forces. Forward deployments also deter subthreshold activities. To be credible, heavy armour needs to be modernised, given the upgrade programmes and counter-force capabilities of potential adversaries.

The Warrior infantry fighting vehicle has the speed and performance to keep up with Challenger 2 main battle tanks over the most difficult terrain, and the firepower and armour to support infantry in the assault. The Warrior family of seven variants of armoured vehicles, which entered service in 1988, has been highly successful for armoured infantry battlegroups in the Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo and Iraq. They provide excellent mobility, lethality and survivability for the infantry and have enabled key elements from the Royal Artillery and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers to operate effectively within the battlegroup. A highly successful armoured fighting vehicle, Warrior can be fitted with enhanced armour and is continuously being updated - the battlegroup thermal imagery was fitted to increase its night-fighting capability.

Warrior is an armoured combat vehicle. It is NBC proof, and a full range of night vision equipment is included as standard. Warrior is part of a family of seven variants which include a Milan carrier, a mechanised recovery vehicle, an engineer combat version and an artillery command vehicle. Warrior has excellent cross country mobility and is armed with a 30 mm Rarden cannon. Used by armoured infantry battalions, Royal Artillery and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

The GKN Defence Warrior Armoured Combat Vehicle was accepted for service with the British Army in November 1984 and production began in 1986. The original order of 1 053 vehicles was reduced to 789, with the final delivery in 1995. The Warrior, as it is normally called, has a combat weight of 25.7 tonnes, a maximum speed of 75km/h (48 km/h in reverse) a maximum road range of 660 km and is able to mount 60% gradients and 40% side slopes. It is armed with both a 30 mm L21 Rarden cannon and a 7.62 mm machine gun and smoke laying equip-ment consisting of 2 x 4 smoke grenade dischargers. It can carry a crew of 3 + 7. Warrior took part in Operation Desert Storm in early 1991, where six variants were deployed.

Warrior infantry command and section vehicles are fitted with a turret mounted 30mm Rarden cannon that will defeat light armoured vehicles out to a range of 1500m, an 8x magnification image-intensifying night sight and eight 94mm light anti-armour weapon HEAT rockets. Warrior variants include artillery observation post vehicle (OPV), command post vehicle (CPV), and a REME recovery and repair vehicle. All variants are equipped with a 7.62mm chain gun. Both chain gun and Rarden cannon have an anti-helicopter capability.

Lockheed Martin UK (LMUK) is the prime contractor for the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP) demonstration contract, awarded in October 2011. It is contracted to deliver a development phase involving 11 upgraded vehicles. LMUK is also a subcontractor to General Dynamics on the AJAX Programme, providing digitised turrets, and pursuing export opportunities. It has the UKs only facility capable of designing and manufacturing digitised turrets and holds unique Intellectual Property and manufacturing capabilities.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is, in effect, the systems integrator for WCSP. It provides the legacy Warrior platform for conversion, sets system requirements, contracts multiple parties, supplies key components (notably the CT40 Cannon System), approves safety cases, and sets and assesses the qualification process. WCSP will extend the service life of the Warrior vehicles beyond 2040. The demonstration contract includes three elements, which will ensure platform lethality, survivability, and fightability:

  • Warrior Fightability Lethality Improvement Programme (WFLIP): a fully stabilised 40mm case telescoped (CT40) cannon turret with modern targeting sights;
  • Warrior Enhanced Electronic Architecture (WEEA): an enhanced electronic architecture to integrate the onboard systems and provide upgraded power and environmental control systems. This enables full visibility around the vehicle so that soldiers understand the situation before they dismount. It also provides temperature controlled environments for soldiers, allowing them to operate in extreme temperature environments. Finally, it provides a Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA), enabling digital spiral upgrades and the insertion of other capabilities; and
  • Warrior Modular Protection System (WMPS): a modular armour protection control system with rapid mounting kits. This enables protection to be fitted to suit the unique demands of each operational environment.

Design acceptance under LMUKs WCSP demonstration contract was originally due to be completed by 31 December 2016. This date is now 25 August 2021, a change of four years and eight months. Approximately a year of that delay (20%) can be attributed solely to LMUK. This was caused by first-time design issues, at a cost to Lockheed Martin of over 100 million. The longest delays have been caused by challenges in the provision of Government Furnished Assets (GFX), the impact of the sale of the Defence Support Group (DSG), and, most significantly, the MoD changing the specification of the Cannon System in 2016 (which resulted in a contract amendment).

The CT40 Cannon System is mandated as the primary weapon system for WCSP by the MoD. Its development and release are under the control of the MoD, through the cannon supplier (CTAI). The CT40 Cannon System is managed and delivered via a separate Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) project team to WCSP. The final technical baseline and configuration for the cannon were not established until over five years into the WCSP demonstration contract (December 2016), over three years later than expected. This resulted in a contract amendment, as LMUK had to reengineer the integrated turret system and re-design the Cannon Control Unit and its interfaces.

LMUK assesses that these account for approximately 50% of the total delay. 30% has been caused by the complexity of the safety and qualification processes, and legacy equipment failures during trials. Re-use was expected upon award of the WCSP demonstration contract. However, it proved unviable to re-use some legacy components, due to excessive variability in their condition or lack of performance and certification data. This led to some major design changes and improvements, which were agreed with the MoD.

LMUK is on track to achieve design acceptance by the revised contractual date. Trials of the upgraded vehicles were in their final phase and progressing well. In June 2020, LMUK received an Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) for the production phase of WCSP. Once awarded, this will deliver an enhanced capability that meets the demands of the future operational environment. It is forecast to make a significant contribution to UK prosperity. LMUK commissioned an independent economic impact analysis from KPMG,1 which estimates that, between 2021 and 2029, production could contribute over 1 billion in Gross Value Added to the UK economy.

The planned Warrior CSP [Capability Sustainment Project] upgrade will be considered against alternate options in the forthcoming Full Business Case and has recently been reviewed and confirmed as the recommended best value for money route to enduring competitive advantage out to 2040 in terms of lethality, electrical power growth and communications technology. Warrior 2 is a significant enhancement and will ensure that Defence has an IFV that can remain competitive out to 2040. Warrior 2 will provide a genuine close combat advantage against current and future adversaries, especially when teamed alongside Challenger 3.

Warrior 2 will be one of the first IFVs able to fire 40mm on the move. The armour piercing round is much more lethal, and the point detonating air burst round is highly effective in dealing with enemy combatants located behind cover. Due to the upgrade to the electronic architecture it can automatically hand off targets between vehicle commanders, improving tempo.

Unlike other AFVs, the Warrior offers significant weight growth potential, enabling the rapid fitting and removal of the latest range of reactive and passive applique armours now and in the future. This, along with active protection systems tailored to the threat will be coupled to automotive improvements to address the associated weight growth.

A key aspect of the Armys armoured vehicle modernisation is the digitalisation of the battlefield through the introduction of the Land Environment Tactical Communications and Information Systems Programme and specifically MORPHEUS. This programme will create a digital backbone within the Armys Brigades and Division to enhance tempo, increase situational awareness, deliver functional applications (for example engineering data, fires and targeting) and improve decision making (including through the use of Artificial Intelligence). This backbone will also enable the integration of new sensors, effectors and means of electronic force protection, while also enhancing interoperability with our allies. The programme is synchronised with the armoured vehicle programmes and the electronic architecture of these platforms is an important part of future proofing our armoured vehicles in the Information Age. In the future, the introduction of new technologies such as Human Machine Teaming will further enhance Warrior 2.

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Page last modified: 05-05-2021 19:35:05 ZULU