The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is not making any “knee-jerk reactions” over claims that one of its armoured vehicles is unreliable, a spokesman said.
The Foxhound vehicle has come under criticism recently after the BBC quoted an army source who said the vehicle was a “massive waste of money” because it overheated in desert conditions.
However an MoD spokesman told SM the vehicle was “delivering what it’s supposed to at the expected profile” in conflict environments, and that the vehicle’s reliability has not had an adverse affect on the army’s ability to operate.
The MoD has spent a total of £371m procuring its fleet of Foxhounds.
The MoD spokesman said all armoured vehicles have a reliability figure that military commanders take into account when planning operations, and there was no problem with the Foxhound “over and above what we’d expect”.
“I’m taking care not to say it performs perfectly because it doesn’t, but at the same time there is a reality that armoured vehicles in these demanding environments with soldiers climbing in and out of them – it’s not like operating a Ford Escort to the supermarket,” he said.
He added that the MOD would listen to the complaints raised by the soldier.
The Foxhound was first introduced in 2012 during the Afghan war and replaced the Snatch Land Rover, a vehicle originally designed for Northern Ireland that was vulnerable to roadside bombs and improvised explosive devices. The Foxhound was specially designed for use in Afghanistan and had a v-shaped hull to deflect blasts.
In Iraq and Afghanistan 37 soldiers were killed while riding in Snatch Land Rovers.
The MoD initially procured 300 Foxhounds at a cost of £270m through the Urgent Operational Requirement programme, and has since expanded the fleet to 400. They are still operational in both Afghanistan and Iraq, where they are used to transport soldiers training local forces and for force protection.
Last week the BBC quoted a source, reportedly responsible for maintaining a fleet of Foxhounds in Iraq, who said the vehicles could not handle the heat and that vehicles needed a high level of maintenance to keep them running.
The MOD spokesperson said: “We’re not knee-jerking some sort of reaction on the basis of one bloke damning the vehicle, because it’s worked to the level it is expected to work to.
“He’s a fixer, so he’s just having a good old chunter about the work he’s having to do to fix it.”
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