Data Stories: European Wheeled APCs on the Rise (Part 1)

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By Ben Goodlad, Analysis Manager

Based on data taken from Avascent Analytics Inventory Forecast, which provides platform inventory data from 2012 to 2028 for 61 countries globally, Analysis Manager Ben Goodlad examines changes in the Armoured Personnel Carrier and Infantry Fighting Vehicle inventories for 24 countries in Europe.

Europe’s armoured vehicle inventories are undergoing a significant change with a greater number of wheeled vehicles being introduced in a shift away from tracked platforms. This change is most stark in the armoured personnel carrier role, where legacy platforms such as the M113 and FV432 have given way to a plethora of light and medium wheeled armoured vehicles. Data from Avascent Analytics shows that in 2013 tracked vehicle accounted for 57 percent of European armoured personnel carrier inventories with approximately 8,138 tracked armoured personnel carriers in service compared to around 6,1480 wheeled platforms. By 2017 the ratio of tracked vs wheeled APCs is roughly 50:50 as legacy platforms are gradually being withdrawn from service, and 2018 sees the number of wheeled platforms surpass tracked APCs for the first time. By 2027 wheeled APCs will make up approximately 62 percent, with the number in service increasing to 8,203.

With lessons learned from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the types of APCs on offer have changed dramatically with the addition of a lighter category of platforms performing a role that has been traditionally fulfilled by either soft skinned or lightly armoured vehicles. When ranking platforms in terms of forecast unit deliveries from 2018 to 2027, three of the top five platforms fall within this category: Griffon, VBMR-Light and the yet to be selected UK Multi-Role Vehicle (Protected) Category 2 troop carrier vehicle.

Under Project Scorpion, France are introducing the 6 x 6 Griffon and 4 x 4 VBMR-Light vehicles, through the Nexter-led consortium comprising Nexter, Renault Trucks and Thales, as a replacement for its VAB fleet, which offered a much lower level of protection compared to the new platforms. At the same time Belgium have ordered the Griffon vehicle a total of 1,107 Griffons forecast to be delivered to the two countries by the end of 2027. At the same time 489 VBMR-L platforms are to be delivered by 2025, with the possibility of production extending beyond this.  In the UK there is a requirement for up to 300 MRV-P Category 2 troop carrier vehicles, although it should be noted that the initial requirement is for 150 units. These vehicles will ultimately replace the UK’s Foxhound protected patrol vehicle, equipping its light mechanised force, with Foxhound due to be out of service by 2030, having entered service in 2012.

Part 2 examining Infantry Fighting Vehicle inventories is available here.

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