The joint WARRIOR Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP) team – Lockheed Martin UK, the British Army and the Armoured Trials and Development Unit – has successfully completed the first phase of reliability growth tests (RGT) and trials for the programme, completing 59 battlefield missions (BFM), the company announced on 30 July.
BFM are a key element of the enduring RGT, consisting of a combination of qualification and verification activities and representative BFM. By the end of the development programme, the vehicles will have travelled the equivalent distance of a return journey from North to South Poles.
WCSP trials, which started in 2019, are now at a significant point, with a number of successful first-time events completed that have demonstrated the game-changing enhancements made to the platform. Once in service, the updated and modernised platform will provide the British Army with the armoured fighting capability it needs – and it will serve for several decades to come.
Keren Wilkins, WCSP Director at Lockheed Martin, commented “This is a tremendous achievement – the programme is at an exciting and equally critical point. With half of the trials successfully behind us, we’re now preparing for the second and final phase of [RGT] The programme has turned a real corner, it continues to run to schedule and has demonstrated a number of successful first-time events.”
Col Howard Pritchard, Assistant Head Combat Programmes Deliver for the British Army, added “Achieving the 59th BFM against the backdrop of COVID-19 social distancing measures and government guidelines has been a challenge for all but overcome through excellent team work and collaboration between the Army, DE&S and Lockheed Martin joint team.”
WCSP addresses key capability gaps faced by the legacy vehicle. Once in service, the significantly enhanced capability will change the way the British Army operates, enabling soldiers to carry out tasks in an even safer, more current environment. The key upgrade being delivered by Lockheed Martin is the ability to fire-on-the-move with the new CT40 stabilised cannon. The new digital turret will not only upgrade platform lethality, but the enhanced situational awareness will provide soldiers with a far greater understanding of the battlespace.
The programme supports 900 skilled jobs across the UK supply chain, many of which are British SMEs. A WCSP production contract will protect these jobs and lead to the creation of even more UK jobs to produce and sustain the capability.