The first Warthog amphibious vehicle for the British Army has been unveiled at Thales UK’s new vehicle integration facility in West Wales.

The Warthog, powered by a 7.2l engine producing 350bhp, is capable of moving through water and can accommodate up to 14 troops while climbing steep gradients, clinging to severe slopes, tackling vertical obstacles and rolling across trenches.

More than 100 Warthog amphibious vehicles have been bought from Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK) to support British troops operating in Afghanistan.

The vehicle will undergo armour integration to provide extra armour, specialist electronic countermeasure equipment and communication tools prior to its deployment in Afghanistan where it will replace the Viking troop carriers in early 2010.

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support Quentin Davies said the Warthog was an armoured beast of a vehicle that would carry troops to the difficult terrain of Afghanistan’s Green Zone.

Upon completion of the armour integration work, the Warthogs will undergo demanding trials to ensure their operational readiness for front-line troops.

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Warthog will come in four variants: a troop carrier, an ambulance, a command vehicle, and a repair and recovery vehicle.

The repair and recovery variant will be equipped with a crane and winch, allowing it to tow another 19t Warthog vehicle back from the front line.