UK defence prime Babcock has signed an agreement with Hobson Industries to work together with an aim to resolve obsolescence in UK military Land Rover Wolf 4×4 vehicles, which first entered service in 1994.

According to GlobalData’s 2023 inventory of UK military equipment, the British Army operates 6,609 Land Rovers of variant configurations, which will include the Wolf light utility vehicle. The UK has dispensed with the short wheelbase ‘90’ Wolf variant, with the long wheelbase ‘110’ still operational.

In a 30 May 2024, release Babcock stated that the agreement would have an initial focus on the Land Rover Wolf to provide technical solutions in the areas of design, manufacture, remanufacturing, and repair, intended to increase availability and reliability of assets for front-line commands.

Jon Morley, director of Material Availability Services at Babcock, said that determining “sustainable solutions” to existing “long-standing challenges” would enhance operational capability of the British Army.

Hobson Industries specialises in the through life support of the Land Rover Wolf vehicle, while Babcock provides through-life support and management for 60% of the British Army’s vehicles.

Will the Land Rover Wolf remain in British Army service?

The British Army is seeking to replace and reduce the 16 designs currently utilised in the mobility fleet down to around five designs, emphasising commonality, through the Land Mobility Programme (LMP).

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Funding for the first ten years of the programme would be around £2.2bn ($2.8bn), although replacement platforms would not be acquired on a one-for-one basis, with the emphasis around increasing commonality across base platforms that can be rerolled or fitted with mission-specific equipment.

A British Army Land Rover Wolf undertaking winter driving exercises in Norway. Credit: UK MoD/Crown copyright

The programme does not include acquisitions being sought under the Light Tactical Mobility Platform (LTMP) Medium and LTMP Light programme, through which the MoD is currently seeking industry responses to the potential purchase of more than 1,000 4×4 and all-terrain vehicles, valued at a combined total of £91.3m.

However, British Army officials have said that commonality between the LMP and LTMP programmes could be sought, depending on requirements.

Land Rover: GlobalData snapshot

The Land Rover Wolf 4×4 vehicle is a custom design currently in use by the British Forces and the Dutch Marine Corp.

The vehicle is based on the Defender 90 and 110 designated Truck Utility Light (TUL) and Truck Utility Medium (TUM) respectively. There are 23 versions, and the specification is designated for military use as extra duty (modifications for winter and tropical duty).

The TUM long-wheelbase version has a weapons mount and is designated as the WMIK (Weapons Mount Installation Kit) developed by Ricardo Vehicle Engineering. Land Rover and Ricardo outfit these vehicles with strengthened chassis, roll cage, weapons mounts (rear door, passenger side at the front, suitable for 7.62mm GMPG, 12.7mm heavy machine gun, MILAN ATGM and the H&K GMG grenade launcher).