Isn’t there an utter lack of logic in the MOD’s decision to invite just at this time
expressions of interest from manufacturers prepared to supply up to 400 Light Protected Patrol Vehicles (LPPVs)? It was only last November that the MOD was saying (about a replacement for the Snatch Land Rover):
“If there was a better vehicle, a smaller vehicle, out there that we could get our hands on quickly, we would have done so. We have been going around the international markets trying to see if there is another smaller vehicle – it doesn’t exist.”
Is it now the case then that the MOD has suddenly discovered an appropriate vehicle OR are they hoping that by the time it is due to enter service, a suitable vehicle will miraculously materialize? If the former is the case, why do they not procure it immediately under a UOR and rush it into service? If it is the latter, and such a vehicle has still not appeared, why invite tenders just now? It just makes no sense at all. Could it perhaps be a sop to Cerberus to placate a public angry that a Snatch replacement has still not been brought into service?
Yes, the stance is wholly inconsistent. In December last Gen Houghton was asserting that there was no replacement available. If that was true, there would be no prospect whatsoever of having a vehicle which is production-ready by 2010. The only way that demand can be satisfied is by adoption of a vehicle that is already in production and was at the time Houghton made his statement.
What Houghton - and his ilk - are doing, of course, is covering his own backside. He is desperate to divert attention from the fact that the Army designated the Vector as a replacement for the Snatch and thus made a very bad decision. Doubtless, he is relying on the lack of media memory and the absence of effective parliamentary scrutiny so that, once a "new" vehicle is identified, no one will recall what was said about the Snatch.