Posted on March 20, 2019
The upgrade was first announced in 2011, at a cost of £1.3 billion, to extend the vehicles’ service by at least 15 years. It included improved interchangeable armour and increased firepower that could be used on the move. The first of the vehicles was originally due to come into service next year, however, that will not now happen until at least 2023.
The vehicles are due to become the backbone for two armoured infantry brigades. Commenting on the news, defence analyst Francis Tusa said: “You need a tracked infantry combat vehicle for two of those brigades. If you don’t have that, your strike power disappears.”
The programme is now running more than three years late and over budget, with the permanent secretary at the MOD, Stephen Lovegrove stating “no commitment to manufacture has been made”.
Writing to the chairwoman of the Commons spending watchdog, Mr Lovegrove said the Warrior was currently suffering from “shortfalls in fightability, lethality, survivability, growth potential and safe operation”.
The overhaul, which is being carried out by US defence company Lockheed Martin, will see the vehicles being fitted with new gun turrets and stabilising 40mm cannon along with more armour and electronics updates. This would allow for more accurate firing while in motion and would push the vehicles out of service date from 2025 to 2040.