BAE Systems Global Combat Systems and General Dynamics (UK) are the two companies invited by the British Ministry of Defence to team with the MOD to develop a new armored vehicle for the British Army. The program is part of the Future Rapid Effect System Specialist Vehicle (FRES SV), intended to field reconnaissance and reconnaissance support variants that will replace the existing Scimitar and Spartan vehicles now on operations in Afghanistan. FRES SV will focs on a medium-weight capability comprising three families of vehicles: Reconnaissance, Medium Amour and Maneuver Support.

Formal invitations are expected in July 2009. The invitation after MOD announced its Armored Fighting Vehicles Sector Strategy earlier this month. The FRES program aimed at replacing a number of vehicles that have reached or are reaching the end of their service lives. However, the initial phase known as FRES Utility Vehicle was halted after a decision to cancel the decision to buy the Pirhana V armored vehicle from General Dynamics UK. The decision resulted in a painful restructuring at BAE Systems, which expected significant subcontracting work for this vehicle. After reexamination of equipment requirements, MOD is now recommending that FRES SV should be procured, with the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme, prioritised ahead of the FRES Utility Vehicle. Some of the Scorpion CRV(T)s have been upgraded recently, prepared for service in Afghanistan.

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