Rheinmetall Electronics UK has been awarded a £10.6m ($13m) contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the delivery and integration of rear-facing camera on the British Army’s Warrior infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) fleet, in order to meet critical safety requirements.
The deal itself is stated as being an ‘accelerated procedure’, with the MoD justifying the process due to “reasons of urgency” in that allowing the usual contractual process to be undertaken would “have safety implications” to the Warrior IFV crew while on operations.
The contract is listed as beginning from 2 November this year, with a conclusion by 31 October 2025.
Earlier this year, the MoD issued a contract tender for Rear Safety Camera Systems (RSCS) for the Warrior IFV, in order to meet a “safety critical” modification. The RSCS system was to comprise of 359 units and include the following sub systems: rear camera; display control unit; cabling loom, and camera wash wipe facility.
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The RSCS is intended all provide the Warrior driver with the means to “recognise terrain and personnel” with a field of rearward view across the track width from the immediate rear of the platform. There is currently no rear safety camera system fitted to Warrior IFV, resulting in the need for the installation of a day/night capable system.
The programme schedule of RSCS capability will see a prototype unit delivered within two months of contract award, followed by three separate batches of 90 RSCS units at as yet undisclosed intervals, with a final Batch 4 of 89 units concluding the deliveries. The consignee address code is listed as MoD Donnington.
A per unit breakdown indicated each of the 359 RSCS units will cost nearly £30,000.
In Rheinmetall Electronics UK’s annual accounts, published on UK Companies House, the company stated that it would look to develop in mission systems, simulation and training, and battlefield digitalisation, “exploiting productions and solutions from our parent organisation (Rheinmetall Electronic Solutions) for sale in the UK and export markets”.
In the year ending 31 December 2022 Rheinmetall Electronics UK recorded a turnover of in excess of £8.7m, and a gross profit of nearly £3.4m. The company’s operating profit was nearly £1.1m, paying £230,000 tax on profit after interest and other expenses.
The immediate parent company of Rheinmetall Electronics UK is Rheinmetall Defence UK, with the ultimate parent company being Germany-based Rheinmetall AG.
Will Warrior withdrawal date be pushed back?
The plan to acquire 359 rear camera units for the Warrior fleet comes just two years before the vehicle is withdrawn from service and replaced by the Boxer MIV.
In a June contract notice published by the UK Government, it was disclosed that UK Defence Equipment and Support, an arm of the MoD, was seeking hundreds of RSCS for the British Army’s Warrior IFV fleet.
Valued at up to £20m at the time, the contract was scheduled to have a start date of 1 September 2023, ending on 1 September 2025. The UK Warrior IFV fleet is due to begin its withdrawal from service in 2025.
In 2021, the UK Defence Command Paper announced that the British Army would retire the 359-strong Warrior IFV fleet from 2025, abandoning plans to undertake the Warrior Capability Sustainment Plan which would have seen the installation of a new turret and main weapon, among other upgrades.
Instead, the acquisition of the Boxer 8×8 mechanised infantry vehicle (MIV) would be accelerated to fill the gap left by the tracked IFV.
In 2019, the UK signed a £2.3bn deal for the procurement of 508 Boxer MIVs from Artec – a consortium of Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegman – in troop-carrying, ambulance, command and specialist carrier variants of the vehicle.
This figure has subsequently increased, with a 16 June parliamentary written answer stating that funding had been allocated for 1,016 Boxer MIVs, against a Land Fleet Requirement of 1,305.