The government has announced an upgrade for the ageing Warrior IFV worth approximately £1bn. First put into service in the late 1980’s the Warrior IFV has proven itself in Kosovo, Iraq and is currently still in active military war conditions in Afghanistan.
In 2006 BAE Systems trialed new turrets for the armored vehicle as per our article on the infantry fighting vehicle:
With a new turret potentially in the 40 mm specification or possibly 30 mm it will feature an auto loader unlike the current belt-fed system. In June 2006 BAE systems started testing the new gun fitted to the Warrior IFV then later in October 2006 the MoD administered tests by trialing the new turret. In December 2008, the Warrior completed tests with high accuracy and reliability. It fired from both 40 mm and 30 mm turret-guns.
However, it appears that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has awarded Lockheed Martin UK with a contract worth £642m, securing 600 jobs in the United Kingdom. Defence spending in the last SDSR was stated on a four year period to fall by 8%. This meant the loss of over 30,000 jobs from all three branches of the military.
The head of the British Army, General Sir Peter Wall who visited the Lockheed Martin UK plant in Bedford with David Cameron and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond welcomed this upgrade to the Warrior IFV, he said:
“This announcement of an upgrade to one of the Army’s most important fighting vehicles is extremely welcome. Warrior will continue to be at the heart of our combat capability for at least another 25 years with state-of-the-art firepower and electronics. Wherever the Army deploys, our infantry will depend on its superior protection, mobility and lethality. This will be a battle winner.”
The new turret will support a new fire control system, while also being equipped with a modern auto-loader for faster rate of fire than previously before. Currently the Warrior IFV and vehicles which use the same older turret use a 3 round clip which is manually inserted by a loader. The new turret will change this making loading faster meaning a higher rate of fire with more accuracy than ever before. – All the while being able to fire on the move.
To conclude this new funding and turret for the Warrior will extend its life cycle to 2040 and beyond.