Armor: November 20, 1999


MODIFIER is to be the next British tank, for service in 2020. The acronym stands for Mobile Direct-Fire Equipment Requirement. Several designs are under consideration, including an unmanned wheeled vehicle and a traditional tracked tank that carries its own mini-RPV. The British are looking for European partners for the program and suggest it could be the catalyst to combine several European heavy armor companies into a powerful consortium.--Stephen V Cole

After extensive delays, Britain and Germany signed the contract on 5 Nov for the development of the new Multi-Role Armored Vehicle (known in Germany has the Gepanzertes Transport Kraftfarzeug). France dropped out of the program after the British and Germans insisted on an armored personnel carrier as the baseline vehicle instead of the infantry fighting vehicle the French wanted. (The French will now build their own vehicle to fill a need for 550 armored carriers, depriving the MRAV program of much needed production volume.) The Dutch have yet to sign on to the program but say they are still interested. The program is designed to produce some APCs for rear-area units, but mostly to provide support vehicles and variants. The selected design has considerable internal volume, providing space for command posts, medical equipment, supplies, mortars, and other high-volume tasks.--Stephen V Cole


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