The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is planning to purchase 25 additional Foxhound light protected patrol vehicles (LPPVs) to support the British Army's operations in Afghanistan, Defence Equipment, Support and Technology (DE&S) Minister Peter Luff has revealed.
Speaking at the Army's Bulford Camp, Luff said the vehicles will be first operated by personnel from the 4th Mechanized Brigade, who are preparing to be deployed on Operation Herrick 17 in Afghanistan.
"Foxhound's cutting-edge technology gives our troops the ability to engage with Afghan civilians, as they must, whilst benefiting from a high level of protection,'' Luff added.
"This is another example of how the MOD, having balanced the budget, is now able to confidently spend money on the equipment that our personnel really need."
Additional vehicles will be acquired at a cost of £30m, and will add to the previous batches of 200 and 100 Foxhounds ordered by the ministry from General Dynamics Land Systems - Force Protection Europe (GDLS:FPE) under £180m and £90m contracts in November 2010 and June 2012 respectively.
The first batch of Foxhounds was shipped to Afghanistan in June 2012, and the vehicles are currently undergoing final testing and evaluations in Helmand province, prior to their operational deployment by end of this year.
Powered by a Steyr M16-Monoblock diesel engine, the Foxhound is a 4x4 highly armoured vehicle, designed and built specifically to protect British troops against a wide range of improvised explosive device (IED) threats.
Featuring V-hull blast-protection technology, the vehicle is equipped with a modular demountable protected crew pod, as well as Formula One technology to offer speeds of up to 70mph, and is lighter and smaller when compared with the army's Mastiff and Ridgback protected patrol vehicles.
The 4th Mechanized Brigade is scheduled to be deployed on a six-month tour as the lead formation of Task Force Helmand in October 2012.