The British Army is set to elevate the role of up to 50 Foxhound vehicles, converting them into specialized command variants in a groundbreaking initiative. Under a GBP19.76 million (USD24.92 million) sole-source contract with General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), this transformation is slated to take place over a 15-month period starting in early 2024. The initiative aims to equip these Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicles (LPPVs) with state-of-the-art communication capabilities. Enhanced high-frequency (HF), very-high-frequency (VHF), and ultra-high-frequency (UHF) functionalities will be integrated, enabling seamless operation of Bowman data terminals. GDLS, as the original equipment manufacturer for the Foxhound and the design authority on the Bowman communications system, is uniquely positioned to fulfill this technological advancement.
The Foxhound or Force Protection Ocelot is a British armoured vehicle that replaced the United Kingdom’s Snatch Land Rover with British forces. The goal in replacing the Snatch Land Rover was to improve protection of personnel against improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The vehicle of choice for the light infantry and specialist troops on operations, Foxhound delivers high-levels of operationally proven protection, reliability and availability, and adaptability due to its modular design.The Foxhound, initially introduced in 2012 to replace the Snatch Land Rover, has been an integral asset for the British forces, particularly in enhancing protection against improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
The Foxhound adaptability and reliability have made it the vehicle of choice for light infantry and specialist troops during various operations, including deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as rigorous training exercises, including cold-weather missions in Norway. Powered by a Steyr M16-Monoblock diesel engine, connected to a ZF 6HP28X 6-speed automatic transmission, it reaches a speed of 50 mph (80 km/h) in 19.75 seconds, and has a maximum speed of 82 mph (132 km/h). Its wheels function independently, so the vehicle’s other wheels should continue to work if one is blown off. It is claimed that the engine can be removed and replaced in 30 minutes. Its ability to navigate challenging terrains, such as jungle environments or deep mud, sets it apart while ensuring the safety of its occupants.
This conversion initiative signifies a strategic advancement, aligning with the British Army’s ongoing efforts to modernize its vehicle fleet. Notably, GDLS is anticipated to propose an upgraded Mk 2 version of the Foxhound for the army’s upcoming GBP1 billion land mobility pipeline requirement, projected to commence in 2025. By incorporating advanced communication systems into the Foxhound, the British Army aims to bolster its command capabilities, establishing these vehicles as pivotal assets in modern warfare scenarios. The Foxhound will be the first British military vehicle to meet the MoD’s recent Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA) requirements. The GVA requirements are intended to create a single, standard digital electronic and electrical architecture for UK vehicles.