LONDON — Helicopter support contracts, a further order for Foxhound armored vehicles and the creation of an armor research center were unveiled by British defence procurement minister Philip Dunne on the second day of the DSEi defense show Sept 11.
Pick of the orders, at least in size, was a six year £367 million deal with Rolls Royce Turbomeca to support the RTM322 engine used to power the British Army’s Apache attack helicopter and the Merlin machines used by the Royal Navy and, the Royal Air Force.
Dunne told the DSEi audience that the Ministry of Defence expected to save more than £300 million compared with previous support arrangements.
Dunne also announced a further order for 24 Foxhound protected patrol vehicles from the Force Protection Europe arm of General Dynamics.
The £23 million deal brings total British military Foxhound orders to 400. To date, the company has delivered 350 of the 376 vehicles previously ordered.
The vehicle was deployed for the first time to Afghanistan in 2012 after a launch order from the British in 2010.
Armor was also the subject of Dunne’s third announcement: a plan to create a ceramic armor development center in Newport, South Wales, involving the MoD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and Kennametal Manufacturing.
The joint funding of a £2 million specialized manufacturing center will enable the partners to develop full-size ceramic armor components for personnel and vehicle protection in sufficient quantity to enable full-scale impact tests.
The MoD said in a statement that improved development and production will help reduce the reliance on armor imports.
Dunne said the facility, trhe largest in Europe “will further advance the UK’s freedom of action in advanced ceramic armor.”