What is The British Scout SV & FRES SV Family?
The British Army in recent years has been developing a program called The Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) which is a fleet of vehicles that can be rapidly deployed, network-enabled, capable of operating across the spectrum of operations, and protected against current threats.
The first of these vehicles to have a secured future has been the Specialist Vehicle. Its to include a reconnaissance (scout) vehicle and other roles such as repair.
FRES SV contract awarded
In March 2010 the MOD selected the General Dynamics ASCOD Common Base Platform and awarded them the contract for the FRES SV for a family of vehicles to replace the CVR(T) family.
What is the ASCOD?
ASCOD is a family of vehicles, principally used as an Infantry Fighting Vehicle, developed by both Spanish firm Santa Bárbara Sistemas and Austrian firm Steyr-Daimler-Puch. The family is in service with both nations Army‘s. Both firms were bought by the US firm General Dynamics since 2003.
About the Manufacturer and Designer
General Dynamics United Kingdom ltd, is developing and modifying the ASCOD Common Base Platform to meet the British Army’s particular needs for the new FRES SV family. 80% of the vehicle manufacture will be completed in the UK, with 70% of the supply chain companies UK-based.
The Scout SV and its new revolutionary designed turret
The Scout SV will be the principal variant of the family. Though the vehicle is manufactured and designed by GD UK, they awarded the contract for the turret design and systems to Lockheed Martin UK.
Lockheed Martin UK is responsible for the key fire control system. Lockheed Martin UK is working closely with key suppliers including Defence Support Group for turret assembly; Rheinmetall Land Systems for the turret structure, cannon mounting structure and CT40 Cased Telescoped 40mm Cannon System integration; Ultra Electronics for power management; Curtiss Wright for turret drives and stabilisation control; Meggitt for the ammunition handling system and Moog for the slip ring. Over 75 percent of this work will be done in the UK
The Scout SV turret has been designed to maximise space and protection for the crew inside. The large turret-ring diameter of 1.7m is wider than that on older vehicles such as Warrior, and the design increases space further by placing the main ammunition feed under armour outside the turret crew compartment. This gives the crew a considerably larger space to work in, which offers not only greater comfort, but significant room for new systems to be fitted without compromising the design of the vehicle through out its service life.
ISTAR stands for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance. The Scout is packed with state of the art sensor equipment, which provides automated search, detection and tracking. This more than doubles the stand-off range at which targets can be identified and studied from the ground.
The Scout SV has a 20 Gbs/sec Gigabit Ethernet intelligent open architecture, which enable it to capture, analyse, manipulate and store over 6TBs of intelligence gathered by its sensors, including a vast array of still and moving images, and to share this intelligence in real, or very near real, time via its integrated BOWMAN tactical, digital communications system as fitted on the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank.
The vehicle has a silent auxiliary power generator to power these electrical systems, allowing the scout to loiter almost indefinitely in a concealed position.
The Rest of the Family
The Common Base Platform has been used to form an almost identical family of variants for the ASCOD, therefore it is classed as a “Military Off-The-Shelf vehicle” and will be modified to meet British Army requirements. The family will include:
Direct Fire – The hull is also designed to accommodate a 2.1m turret ring and is capable of carrying 42 tonne’s. This means the vehicle can support a larger turret to house a 120mm smoothbore main gun, which has been floated as an idea to replace the British Army’s current Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank.
Command and Control – The hull compartment offers a greater internal volume than the current CVR(T), enabling it to carry a vast array of communication systems and battle field management monitors for commanders in the field.
Equipment Support – This being the new buzz term for recovery vehicle. Operated by the British Army REME, this vehicle will have winches for recovering damaged variants of the family as well as boom crane to swap out power-packs whish in the field as well as towing.
Manoeuvre Support – No details available.
Ambulance – Again utilising the greater internal volume of the hull compartment, the vehicle will be kitted out with medical equipment, space for field medics, walking or stretchered wounded squaddy’s.
Infantry Fighting Vehicle – As this role has been the bread and butter of the ASCOD, it could also be used in this role with the British Army to supplement the current Warrior IFV fleet and see the final withdrawal of the remaining FV432 APC’s still in service.
The family will have all round modular armour system, allowing varying levels of ceramic composite to be inserted as the vehicles mobility has the capability for 25% weight growth. GD UK have said that the vehicles will have a comparable mine protection of the mastiff Protected Patrol Vehicle (its an MRAP).
The vehicle will also have acoustic detection, powerful far-target thermal sights and local situational awareness sensors, though this may be just limited to the Scout.
Scout’s ‘PSO’ mission fit offers a remote weapon system for 360 degrees high-angle targets, an important feature in urban or mountainous terrains.
This comprises the Renk 256B transmission (as used on the new German Puma IFV’s) coupled to MTU 600kW 8V engine. The powerpack is capable of powering the vehicle up to 45 tonnes in weight, which provides an unparalleled growth potential for the family.
Field Trials scheduled for 2013
The Scout SV Demonstration Phase is on contract and ahead of schedule and the 1st Scout Trial vehicle is currently scheduled to be issued to the British Army’s Armoured Trials Development Unit in January 2013.
The Mobile Test Rig (MTR) – the precursor to a prototype SV – has been put through an extensive series of trials. These included cold weather and Operational and Tactical (O&T) mobility trials, as well as Accelerated Life Testing (ALT).
First Prototype Completed
First pre-production prototype, a PMRS variant was unveiled at DVD 2014
Contract Awarded and Scheduled Service Entry Date
General Dynamics UK was awarded £3.5 billion to deliver 589 SCOUT SV platforms to the British Army on 3 September 2014
Synergy with the Warrior IFV
The British Army has been running a competition for the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP). Lockheed Martin UK is the only firm remaining. Their Warrior Transformation Team’s are offering an upgrade to the existing turret. These will include many systems from the new Lockheed Martin UK Scout SV turret.