London: In a bid to provide latest equipment, leading defence company, General Dynamics UK, is discussing with the British Army a possible further order for an updated version of its Foxhound protected patrol vehicle, the company has said.
An Mk 2 version of the ride, which could include a variant with a hybrid electric drive, is likely to be offered to the British Army for a requirement known as the land mobility pipeline. The British acquired 400 Foxhounds in 2012 to equip infantry with a vehicle protected primarily against mine blasts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Now the company is hoping to get the vehicle back in production with a refreshed version of the Foxhound meeting Army requirements under the land mobility pipeline – previously called the protected mobility pipeline.
“It’s relatively early days but we have described to them [the British Army] what we think the Mk2 would look like. It’s a fairly active conversation with them about the vehicle,” a company spokesman said. “We are still waiting to see precisely what the requirement is but we would like Foxhound to be a candidate.”
British procurement minister James Cartlidge told Parliament in June that land mobility program was currently in its concept phase. “Subject to confirmation during the approvals process, it is anticipated that the program will seek to deliver four categories of platforms,” he said, with a general-support variant on the wish list alongside light, medium and heavy protected versions.
Ministry of Defence officials said last year that the program would be funded to the tune of £1 billion, or $1.2 billion, starting in 2025. A key upgrade could be the fitting of a hybrid engine.
The General Dynamics spokesman said a hybrid-powered variant may not be the standard fit for Foxhound, but it could make up a portion of the fleet. The company received a deal by the MoD in 2020 to undertake demonstrator work with the Army on an electric-drive Foxhound as part of its then protected mobility program. “We have done prototype demonstrators with hybrid drive so it’s pretty mature,” said the spokesman.