Less than half of some of the Army’s most up-to-date armoured vehicles are ‘fit for purpose’, figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats have shown.
Answers to Parliamentary Questions found that:
- Fewer than half of the Army’s Mastiffs (134 of the 271 in service) are fit for purpose
- Almost 40% of Ridgebacks are not fit for purpose
The Mastiff and Ridgeback are examples of the new type of heavily armoured, mine-resistant, wheeled patrol vehicles used by the British Army on operations in Afghanistan. They provide much greater protection to personnel than predecessors such as the Snatch Land Rover.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Defence Spokesperson, Willie Rennie said:
“These worrying figures undermine Labour’s claim that our troops have the armoured vehicles they need.
“The Government says more Mastiffs and Ridgebacks are protecting our troops from roadside bombs - but now we find only half of them are fit for purpose.
“We must make sure our troops have the kit they need to do their job as safely as possible. Mere promises are not enough – Gordon Brown has to deliver.”