Up-armored Alvis Warrior infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) have been deployed to Estonia as part of a rotation of the equipment for the UK-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup, Jane’s
reports. The Warrior tracked vehicle family is a series of British armored vehicles. The Warrior family developed by Alvis Vickers, which is now BAE Systems Land Systems, has been proved in action with the British Army in operations in the Middle East during Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom and on United Nations duties in Bosnia. Warrior vehicles were also deployed to Afghanistan. The British Army has upgraded its Warriors
to extend their service life to 2025. The upgrade included the General Dynamics UK Bowman tactical communications system and the addition of a night fighting capability in the form of the Thales Optronics battle group thermal imaging program. Until now the Warriors on duty in Estonia have been standard vehicles from the British Army training fleet with no theater-specific enhancements. The new Warriors appeared to be fitted with plates along the length of their hulls to defeat high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warheads, which British Army sources said is designated Operational Equipment Standard 3 (OES3). This is an evolution of the theater entry standard armored packages developed for the Iraq and Afghan campaigns.
Britain’s MCV-80/FV510 Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle was produced between 1984 and 1995. Built of all-welded aluminum construction and armed with the 30 mm Rarden cannon, it was designed to destroy enemy armored personnel carriers at ranges of up to 1,500m, while offering a fast, armored battlefield taxi for up to 7 infantry soldiers. These IFVs were pressurized to protect against Soviet chemical and biological weapons, and included a full range of night vision equipment. They served capably during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, were used to maintain the peace in Bosnia/Kosovo, and have found themselves in very high demand on the post 9/11 front lines.
Individual programs have improved some vehicles’ optics, radios, and add-on armor, but keeping the fleet in service until 2035 will require more extensive work. Hence the GBP 1 billion Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP). In mid-November 2009, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin UK submitted their bids, but the decision took almost 2 years. Fielding isn’t expected until 2018, but work proceeds.