Atkins, the FRES Systems House, has placed two Technology Demonstrator Programme (TDP) contracts with Lockheed Martin (UK) Ltd and Thales, announced Lord Drayson, minister for Defence Procurement today.
The two Electronic Architecture contracts will seek to ensure that the cutting edge FRES electronics, which will use new technology, will be effective and compatible. They will seek to identify and mitigate risks associated with differing candidate architectures. Lockheed and Thales will also work with other TDP contractors on integration aspects of potential Electronic Architecture solutions.
Placing two concurrent contracts will enable MoD to address programme risks across the huge range of technologies and potential solutions. It also offers the opportunity for broad industry engagement and innovation at all levels of the supply chain. Lord Drayson said: "This is another positive step for the FRES programme. These contracts are part of a series of risk reduction activities to inform decisions on technologies that are feasible for FRES, ensuring we deliver first class equipment for our armed forces at the best value for the British taxpayer. There will be more TDPs to follow.
" FRES is the most significant armoured vehicle project for the next decade. It will provide a family of medium-weight, armoured fighting vehicles to fulfil a wide range of roles. FRES will be an integral part of an interoperable network and will deliver modern, battle-winning equipment to the Army.
1. FRES is the first of the Army`s Transformational capabilities and is at the heart of the Army`s equipment programme. It will have wide operational utility, from peacekeeping to warfighting, and will both equip our medium-weight forces and provide key support roles to our heavy force.
2. The roles FRES will undertake and the number of vehicles to be procured will be determined by studies undertaken during the initial Assessment Phase.
3. FRES will focus on delivering the best proven technology, ensuring that there is sufficient growth potential for future upgrades.
4. Delivery of FRES will also enable the elimination of current vehicles such as CVR(T), FV 432 and Saxon from the inventory as soon as possible.
5. FRES provides an excellent opportunity for the defence industry to engage in the programme in line with the UK Defence Industrial Policy.