No jumps for Paras as MoD cuts £1bn By Sean Rayment and Rob Watts, Sunday TelegraphLast Updated: 1:28am GMT 17/12/2006Parachute training in the Army is set to be halted for four years as part of a £1 billion cost-cutting programme by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).The proposals mean that Britain will be without a parachute-trained force for the first time since the Second World War when the Parachute Regiment was created on the orders of Winston Churchill.Documents leaked to The Sunday Telegraph reveal that no new recruits or even serving members of the Parachute Regiment or airborne forces will be trained in military parachuting from next year until 2011. It will then take a year to get the Army's 2,500 paratroopers up to scratch.The cost-cutting programme is being launched after defence chiefs warned that spiralling costs of complex equipment and the demands of military operations would create a financial "black hole" in the MoD of £868 million by the end of the next year.The severity of the crisis prompted one of the Government's most senior civil servants to describe the situation as "an extremely difficult position with no clear way forward".The crisis has placed the MoD on a collision course with Gordon Brown and the Treasury, and has raised fears that multi-billion pound projects could be postponed or even cancelled.The planned cuts to be imposed on 16 Air Assault Brigade, which the MoD admits would be a public-relations disaster, can be revealed just days after 77 members of the unit received awards, including a Victoria Cross and a George Cross, for their actions in Afghanistan.The document states that if the cuts were imposed "the Parachute Regiment and other airborne units would be undermined with implications for morale, recruiting and retention. It would take until March 31, 2012, to retrain all aircrews, dispatchers, planers and parachute-trained units".It adds: "This measure would also have implications for special forces' recruiting and selection." The Parachute Regiment provides more than half of the special forces' intake.Senior officers were aghast last night at the latest round of cuts. One said: "It is extraordinary that at a time when the Armed Forces are fighting two wars and are stretched to the very limit, defence spending is being pared back in this way."The crisis has emerged two months after Tony Blair promised commanders in Afghanistan that they would get whatever they needed to beat the Taliban.The scale of the crisis within the MoD is highlighted by another leaked document in which Ian Andrews, the 2nd permanent undersecretary of state, warns that the military is having to take "painful measures" to stay within budget. "Equipment, support, fuel and utilities costs are causing real pressures across the departments. We remain in an extremely difficult position with no clear way forward."In an effort to stay within budget, he proposes measures including a "moratorium on recruitment" of civilian manpower and that all "existing contracts for agency or casual staff be terminated".Instead of flying to meetings around the world, senior officers should "encourage staff to consider video conferencing, e-mail or the telephone".
Medium Protected Patrol VehicleThe Specialist and Utility Vehicles (SUV) IPT has a potential requirement for the supply of approximately 180 Medium Protected Patrol Vehicles (MPPV) for likely delivery into service in early 2009. The MPPV will be a wheeled vehicle, with an approximate gross vehicle weight of 14 Tonnes, capable of carrying up to 7 crew members, providing protected mobility and offering very high levels of protection against a number of known and emerging threats of a varied nature including Ballistic, Blast, Mine and Fragmentation. MPPVs are principally required for a wide range of patrol tasks and are normally expected to operate on roads and rough tracks in urban, semi-urban and rural environments; however they need to be sufficiently agile to provide a degree of cross country mobility.
U.K. Seeks Lighter Armored Patrol Vehicle The British Ministry of Defence kickstarted a competition in late April to buy 180 Medium Protected Patrol Vehicles (MPPVs) by seeking expressions of interest from contractors able to deliver a vehicle to the Army in two years.The purchase of this new class of patrol vehicles is part of Britain’s effort to protect troops from improvised explosive devices, which recently destroyed heavily armored Warrior infantry fighting vehicles and, for the first time, heavily damaged a Challenger 2 battle tank.Last year, against a backdrop of rising parliamentary and media criticism over the danger of using lightly armored vehicles like the Snatch Land Rover in Iraq, the government issued several urgent operational requirements. Among other things, this led to the August purchase of 108 Cougar 6x6 protected patrol vehicles from U.S. company Force Protection. The heavily up-armored Cougars, called Mastiffs by the British, began arriving in Iraq in late December and are slated to wind up by midyear. But the 25-metric-ton Mastiff has only a limited ability to conduct urban and off-road patrolling.An MoD spokesman said the idea behind MPPV was to procure a “smaller, more agile version of a Mastiff-like vehicle” that could handle more patrolling tasks.One analyst said the British are looking for a “vehicle which has the protection levels of the Cougar at nearly half the weight and with better mobility.”Force Protection didn’t return calls for comment by press time. Leading mine-protected vehicle rival BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa said it is interested in the program.Among the other suppliers weighing their options are General Dynamics UK; Ivema, the South African company that launched the Gila protected vehicle last year; and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann with its Dingo 2 vehicle, said a company spokesman.The competition is expected to attract a range of vehicle types and draw interest from several companies not normally associated with this type of armored vehicle manufacture who have innovative design solutions, the analyst said.A U.S. Marine Corps-led contest to purchase similar heavily armored vehicles through a program called Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) drew bids from BAE, Force Protection, Oshkosh Trucks offering an Israeli design, Textron offering the Dingo 2, General Dynamics, and others.MRAP has caught the attention of British MoD program officials, who are visiting the United States this week to talk with their counterparts on the Marine Corps program, industry sources said.Although MPPV and MRAP program requirements are unlikely to be an exact match, a number of the MRAP contenders may also have an interest in the British competition.BAE, for example, said it may offer the British the RG33 vehicle it rolled out last year in response to the MRAP requirement.Companies have until May 11 to register their interest in the U.K. program. The MoD said it plans to follow that up in 12 months with an invitation to tender for a vehicle weighing no more than 14 metric tons and capable of carrying seven soldiers. The in-service date is planned for 2009.Although the MPPV isn’t an urgent operational requirement, the program, as envisaged, is scheduled to be rushed through the new Defence Equipment & Support organization formed April 2 by the MoD at almost unprecedented speed, compared with programs like the Future Rapid Effects Systems (FRES), Britain’s biggest armor program.The project team running the MPPV program for the MoD said it will use a military vehicles show in the United Kingdom scheduled for late June to begin informal assessments of equipment and concepts to meet the requirement ahead of a down-select.The British say they want a vehicle that can offer very high levels of protection for patrolling on roads and rough tracks in urban and rural environments, and anything in between.The platform also will need to be sufficiently mobile to provide cross-country mobility, according to an entry in the latest edition of the MoD Contracts Bulletin.Although sufficient funding exists to run a capability concept demonstrator to reduce risk, the program is currently unfunded. That could pose a risk to the program. With the current parlous state of the British military equipment budget, few programs are entirely safe from a possible ax, even when funding is approved.One possibility, said an industry source, is that the MoD may raid the multibillion-pound fund earmarked for FRES.The Contracts Bulletin said the MPPV effort will be what the British call a Category C program. That would place the contract value at between 20 million and 200 million pounds ($40 million and $400 million). •http://defensenews.com/story.php?F=2714578&C=europe
Para mim foi novidade saber isto:Aceitam estrangeiros,e esses mesmos estrangeiros podem depois tentar concorrer para o SAS também.Se bem que tem umas burocracias pelo meio,não é como a legião."The SAS includes soldiers from Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, and occasionally (on exchange) U.S Delta force members."
Parachute training in the Army is set to be halted for four years
Exército britânico lança cueca blindada para os soldados[/size]Um novo dispositivo tecnológico vai ser enviado para os soldados britânicos na província de Helmand, no Afeganistão. É uma espécie de «cueca blindada» para protegê-los de ferimentos na área pélvica, causados pelas bombas nas estradas. Cada um dos homens já está a receber quatro pares das cuecas, que se parecem com calções de ciclismo. São feitas com um material balístico especial produzido a partir de seda e tecidos sintéticos.O material faz com que a peça de roupa permaneça leve, mas possa travar ou diminuir os efeitos dos estilhaços que atingem o soldado após uma explosão.Muitos soldados na região foram feridos em explosões nas estradas afegãs por causa do uso de bombas accionadas pelo peso da pessoa ou do veículo que passa sobre elas.Por causa desse mecanismo, a maior parte da força destrutiva das explosões é direccionada para cima, e atinge a pélvis e o topo das pernas dos soldados. Cerca de 45 mil pares de cuecas blindadas já foram levados para o Afeganistão, e outros 15 mil estão prontas para serem enviados.Mais pedidos serão entregues no início do próximo ano pelo fabricante na Irlanda do Norte. Lusa