British Army's Foxhound vehicle gives soldiers better protection, higher-speed


June 22, 2012

The Foxhound is a functional combination of safety, maneuverability, versatility and speed (Photo: © Crown Copyright/MOD 2012)

The Foxhound is a functional combination of safety, maneuverability, versatility and speed (Photo: © Crown Copyright/MOD 2012)

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The British Army's new Foxhound light protected patrol vehicle is a functional combination of heavy-duty armored rover designed to soldier through explosions and light, nimble field vehicle that can go where others can't. Thanks to a partnership with top names in racing, including McLaren and BMW, the Foxhound is as quick as a fox ... or at least as close as an eight-ton military vehicle can possibly be.

The vehicle strikes a cutting edge balance between all-out armored protection and in-field versatility. Britain's Ministry of Defence says that the patrol vehicle provides unprecedented levels of blast protection for its size and weight. Its V-shaped hull helps it survive explosions.

The Foxhound's superior protection is a sticking point. Its predecessor the Snatch Land Rover was a political lightning rod due to what many felt to be insufficient protection against landmines and other explosives in Iraq and Afghanistan operations. The model came under much fire and was reportedly nicknamed the "mobile coffin" in the field. The British Army announced the Foxhound as a replacement for the Snatch Land Rover in 2010.

While it will offer serious protection, the Foxhound is still lightweight and agile enough to navigate alleyways, tracks, bridges and other areas where heavier colleagues must stay behind. General Dynamics Land Systems: Force Protection Europe (GDLS:FPE), the contractor that builds the Foxhound, partnered with a team of engineers from BMW, McLaren F1, Ricardo and the World Rally Championships to outfit the Foxhound with speed capabilities up to 70 mph (112 km/h).

The vehicle is the first to be designed under what the British Army calls the "open systems" approach. It is readily upgradeable with new, off-the-shelf equipment, keeping it uniform and operable with other vehicles and technologies, and preventing it from becoming obsolete.

The Foxhound's engine can be completely removed and replaced in about 30 minutes' time. The patrol vehicle can also roll away on three wheels, in the event that one of its wheels is destroyed in an ambush.

Earlier this week, the British Army deployed a convoy of Foxhounds for testing in Afghanistan's Helmand desert. They will be used in operations later this year, and the MOD says they will be ideal for soldiers involved in mentoring and partnering roles in Afghanistan, making it easier for them to interact with Afghan security forces and people.

The Foxhound was also on display at the Defence Vehicle Dynamics Exhibition this week. The MOD has ordered a total of 300 units at a cost of £270 million. The Foxhound purchase is part of a 10-year, £5.5 billion armored vehicle program.

Source: Ministry of Defence News, BBC

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

It's odd that only now are the US and UK arms manufacturers catching up on a concept South African companies developed decades ago, in the late 1960's Sandock-Austral were designing V-hulled APC's because of the proliferation of Russian and other communist block landmines in Southern African conflicts.

A picture of the South African Defence Force's Buffel APC introduced in 1978. Hi tech or what?

Sadly now that these companies have been snapped up by larger interests like BAE and Vickers very little credit is given to the original innovators. Having said that, the Brittish Soldiers who ride in this vehicle can do so knowing that 40 years of development have gone into the safety feature which defines the design of this vehicle.


Following on from Donut's comment the following link shows a selection of mine protected vehicles developed and used in Rhodesia during the bush war between 1965 and 1980.


I remember the conflicts in South Africa and Rhodesia. These vehicles were laughed at by the very people who now cry out for them. I think it is a disgrace to pretend that nothing was learned in these past conflicts of how to protect service men under fire, as if we did not know how. Why send service people into situations like that knowing what was going to happen without the right equipment.

In the end, it has backfired on the Penney pinchers.


The Poms are unashamedly using the technology that we Rhodesians developed during our tough struggle against the TM46 landmine!


Modern vehicles of this exact nature were avialble in 1994 already. Why on earth would the Britisih send their men into battle in a Landrover or Humvee at all?

Mike Biagio
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