British Army C-in-C Gen. Nick Carter has fired the starter’s gun on a program to equip his forces with an eight-wheel-drive armored fighting vehicle by telling an audience at the DSEI defense exhibition here that a program to supply a mechanized infantry vehicle would get underway soon.
An MoD official said the new program had yet to enter the concept phase but confirmed there would be a competition for the requirement.
There were fears the British could buy the VBCI from France’s Nexter without a competition as part of a deal between the allies under the Anglo-French defense treaty.
The winning vehicle will operate alongside the General Dynamics Scout tracked reconnaissance vehicle purchased by the British in a £3.5 billion (US $5.4 billion) production deal last year.
General Dynamics showed the first prototype of the turreted version of the vehicle at the show and officially named the family the Ajax.
The Ajax and the mechanized infantry vehicle will operate together in a new land joint strike force being put together by the Army in the 2020-2025 time frame.