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10 novembre 2011 4 10 /11 /novembre /2011 08:00

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09 November 2011 by Beth Stevenson - shephardmedia.com

 

The British Army's £500 million Scout SV programme will be 'perfectly affordable', a government official has insisted.

 

Peter Luff, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support for the UK, said that adaptability and affordability were key areas of interest for the government as it tracks the project, which saw a contract awarded to General Dynamics UK for prototype development in 2010.

 

Speaking at the Modern Infantry conference in Bisley, UK, on 9 November, Luff said it was his ‘moral duty’ to protect the army and 'new equipment arriving in theatre will have adaptability'.

 

He insisted that post-Afghanistan the UK will 'make the most efficient use of the vehicles' left over that were developed as UORs, even though the downside of them 'becomes clear post-war, as they were procured for the war, not a war'.

 

Luff referred to the three main areas of interest for budgeting and organising modern infantry for the UK, including: resizing the British Army; reallocating budgets between programmes; and the placement of UORs from Afghanistan, and deciding the direction in which they will go post-conflict.

 

Under the Future Force 2020 brigade modernisation programme, army personnel will be reduced to 112,000, with a rough divide of 70/30 between full time and TA soldiers.

 

'We know the army, including the infantry, will be a smaller force,' he said, but 'the army's equipment plan remains fluid'.

 

Luff described how infantrymen take the 'heaviest punishment' in the structure of the forces, and although 'we appreciate the role of special forces, we need infantrymen to not be second rate citizens'.

 

As for the UK's £1 billion Warrior armoured vehicle upgrade announced last month, Luff said that despite the expense it is 'addressing all capability gaps beyond 2040'.

 

'The British infantryman has never been so well equipped.'

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