The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has completed the Base Platform Critical Design Review (CDR) for the Protected Mobility Recce Support (PMRS) variant of the Scout Specialist Vehicle (SV) programme, General Dynamics UK announced on 28 April.
The Scout SV programme is intended to replace the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) (CVR(T)) family of light armoured vehicles in British Army service. Currently the British Army possesses some 1,133 CVR(T) vehicles, of which only 641 are operable.
The Base Platform CDR is the first variant-specific CDR for the Scout SV programme and marks an important step before the planned delivery of the first PMRS pre-production prototype and the overall CDR for the vehicle later in 2014. The completion of the Base Platform CDR on the PMRS variant follows on from the completion of the MoD's Preliminary Design Review on the Scout SV programme in early 2013.
According to General Dynamics UK, the Base Platform CDR "covered the PMRS system architecture, including the physical architecture and software; its subsystems, such as the running gear, suspension, auto controls, and propulsion; and PMRS specific design interfaces, including for the vehicle's electronic architecture, C4I equipment, towing, and storage." The Base Platform CDR also included extensive testing to confirm the PMRS' survivability, ease of crew egress and ingress, and onboard system functionality.
The full CDR later this year is set to finalise the design of the vehicle for production. The PMRS element of Scout SV is intended to replace the Spartan armoured personnel carrier CVR(T) vehicle variant and will be able to carry 8 dismounts and be armed with a remote weapon station.
General Dynamics UK has been developing the Scout SV under a GBP500 million (USD840 million) demonstration phase contract, awarded by the MoD in July 2010. Scout SV was to form the reconnaissance part of the now-defunct Future Rapid Effect System vehicle programme, which also included a utility vehicle and a manoeuvre support vehicle.
Kevin Connell, vice-president at General Dynamics UK - Land Systems, said: "This is a significant milestone in the Scout SV programme as we move closer towards the delivery of the first PMRS pre-production prototype later this year. This successful Base Platform CDR for the PMRS variant shows we are well on our way to delivering a best-in-class family of armoured vehicles that meet the requirements of Future Force 2020 for the British Army."
Despite funding being allocated under the MoD's PR12 spending round, a production contract for the Scout SV vehicle has proved elusive. However, with the British Army's CVR(T) family of vehicles scheduled to be withdrawn from service in 2020, there is a danger of a significant capability gap emerging if there are any further delays (or even a cancellation of the programme). To de-risk the programme a Mobile Test Rig was completed in 2012 and has since undergone extensive trials.