MoD orders 157 Ridgback armoured vehicles to replace the Snatch Land Rovers
30 June 2008

Land Rover bosses there are "no implications" to the Ministry of Defence's order of 157 heavily armoured Ridgback 4x4s to replace ageing Land Rovers in war zones.The vehicles have been ordered as a response to the increasing number of roadside bomb casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. Land Rover's director of corporate affairs, Don Hume, said: "There's no comparison between the two vehicles. One weighs four tons; the other weighs 12 tons. The [Snatch Land Rover] will continue to fulfil a role. It's still a popular vehicle."The American-built Ridgback trucks will be deployed in combat areas from next year. They should afford troops greater protection from mines than the elderly Defenders currently is use, and are said to be more manoeuvrable and reliable. Ridgbacks have significantly more armour plating and are larger than the Land Rovers. Weapons include heavy duty and general-purpose machine guns, grenade launchers and some will be fitted with a remote control system, allowing soldiers to operate the weapons from a joystick. The new Ridgbacks are just one element of the MoD’s £150 million fleet overhaul – an investment that critics have been calling for since war broke out in Iraq. The ‘Pitbull’ armoured personnel carrier has already been rolled out to troops in Afghanistan, again replacing armoured Land Rovers. Meanwhile the Ridgback’s larger Mastiff sibling continues to phase out the Snatch Land Rover. “The Mastiffs have saved lives out in theatre and we have ordered the Ridgback because it is a smaller version of the Mastiff – offering our forces first rate protection with more manoeuvrability,” commented Defence Secretary Des Brown. Currently the new Ridgbacks are being fitted with their weapons and communications systems. Troops will be trained to use the vehicles before they go into combat.

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Comments
7

1 July 2008

[quote Autocar]The American-built Ridgback trucks will be deployed in combat areas from next year. They should afford troops greater protection from mines than the elderly Defenders currently is use, and are said to be more manoeuvrable and reliable.[/quote]

Go anywhere in the world where people really rely on their 4x4s and you'll find Toyotas. The truth about Land Rovers being go anywhere vehicles is that this is true, as long as carry a trained mechanic and a full complement of parts. And if you're not in a hurry.

Which, now I think of it, is really odd cos Jags are now really reliable and robust.

1 July 2008

[quote RobotBoogie]Which, now I think of it, is really odd cos Jags are now really reliable and robust.[/quote]

With the exception possibly of the X-type!

I can't believe the army have stuck with LR for so long. I still can't believe that they still use Bedford trucks as well.

2 July 2008

Sadly methinks this may have a lot to do with the Ridgback being American. Or from another point of view - the government no longer have to be seen to support JLR now it's no longer British owned.

2 July 2008

That's right, nothing to do with landmine protection or the fact the the rdgback is so much larger it offers a more flexible weapons platform as well.....

2 July 2008

I'm sure the Army will retain Land Rover for second echelon back up.

As for unreliable, that was not my experience of them. During an exercise in Germany I drove a petrol SWB LR untility truck for 4 days with very little engine oil due to an 'oversight' in on base servicing.

By the time the exercise was over, the engine would gently stop running on idle. Once I put the oil into the engine, it continued to give sterling service for atleast another 70,000 miles that I know of, as I was evetually posted.

I've driven hundreds of thousands of miles in Land Rover's without any Major Malfunction, and thank the Good Lord as Major Malfunction turned out to be gay.

2 July 2008

Definately not surprised when i read this...was wondering how long is was going to take...the arguement about who owns JLR is irrelevant...when the yanks under Ford owned them it made no difference...

In the end of the day we need the best equiptment for our forces...a van which was designed after WW2 with a transit engine nowadays (in the 'modern' version) is purely not cut out for the modern battlefield easy as...

3 July 2008

About time I say, although its stretching the point to say the Army is abondoning Land Rover.

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