Ministry of Defence
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First of new fleet of “armoured beasts” arrives in UK
A “beast” of a new vehicle has arrived in the UK to prepare for its unleashing in Afghanistan’s Green Zone to support British troops.
Warthog can wade through water and is powered by a 7.2 litre engine that produces 350 bhp - while carrying up to 12 troops and offering improved levels of protection. The highly agile, all-terrain vehicle will be able to climb steep gradients, cling to severe slopes, tackle vertical obstacles and cross wide trenches.
The MOD has bought more than 100 Warthog amphibious vehicles from Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK). The first was unveiled today at Thales UK’s new vehicle integration facility in West Wales as the company will install UK-specific kit to the vehicles. This will include additional armour, specialist electronic counter-measure equipment and communication tools before the vehicle is deployed to Afghanistan early next year.
Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies, said:
"Warthog is an armoured beast of a vehicle that will carry troops to the heart of operations in the difficult terrain of Afghanistan’s Green Zone. It can work in terrain where other vehicles find it difficult to operate in.
“Warthog will provide improved protection to our troops on the frontline and this marks a significant step forward in preparing this vehicle for our troops. I am delighted that Thales UK is able to contribute to that process here in the UK."
After the integration work the vehicles will undergo demanding trials to ensure Warthog is ready for the frontline.
First Minister for Wales, the Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan AM, formally opened the new vehicle integration facility in Llangennech, Carmarthenshire, for Thales UK.
Head of Combat Wheels Group at Defence Equipment and Support, Brigadier Ian Simpson, added:
“Warthog has proven itself to be a very capable vehicle in its preliminary tests and trials. I am impressed by the high standards of engineering applied to this vehicle and the quality of the support package offered by Singapore Technologies Kinetics, which will give our troops with higher levels of protection and mobility.
“This vehicle has been manufactured and shipped to the UK for radios and armaments to be fitted and integrated into the vehicle. The vehicle will then have to be fully tested and certified as safe to use before being issued to troops for pre-deployment training. Once these tests have been completed the vehicle will be given to our troops”.
Notes to Editors:
1. For more information, pictures or video footage of Warthog, contact Lisa Murphy in the DE&S press office on 07810 237923 or Sonia Marshall in the MOD press office on 0207 218 3258.
2. Pictures of the opening will be available after the event via www.defencenewsimagery.mod.uk or by calling the Defence Picture Desk on 0207 218 6401.
3. Warthog will succeed the Viking tracked amphibious troop carrier currently in service in Afghanistan. Viking will return to the UK, will be refurbished and remain in service with the Royal Marines.
4. Warthog will come in four variants - a troop carrier, an ambulance, a command vehicle and a repair and recovery vehicle. The ambulance variant will be capable of carrying casualties, medics and kit. Warthog's repair and recovery variant will be fitted with a crane and winch, and will have the capability of towing another 19-tonne Warthog vehicle back from the front line.
5. The vehicle flew into the UK on 3 November 2009 and has been to the Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit at RAF Brize Norton for airportability trials.
6. The Warthog is a variant of the Bronco vehicles made by Singapore Technologies Kinetics and is just one of a fleet of Protected Patrol Vehicles that were bought as part of a £700M package of Urgent Operational Requirements announced by the MOD in October 2008.
7. The Bronco vehicle is currently in service with the Singaporean Armed Forces.
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department