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The project to improve/replace SNATCH was always separate to FRES. The Generals stressed the urgent need to replace the ageing fleet of Army Fighting Vehicles as a whole when voicing their concerns over delays to FRES.Though this whole affair, therefore, we have seen the most egregious failure of the Army. But we now also see the continued failure of the media to understand and deal with the issues, missing the point again and again, always going for the cheap shots, without even beginning to understand what was involved.
However SNATCH was a Protected Patrol Vehicle rather than an AFV, and was not an old vehicle. In terms of augmenting Protected Patrol Vehicles such as SNATCH the focus in early 2006 for the Army was on the VECTOR which in March 2006 I was told was General Dannatt’s highest priority as CinC LAND.
Progress on FRES and concerns about SNATCH Land Rovers should not have been connected in theory because the FRES project was designed to provide a different capability, i.e. AFVs not PPVs.
In reality however, I believe that the Army’s difficulty in deciding upon a replacement to SNATCH was in part caused by their concern over the likelihood of FRES budgets being cut to fund a SNATCH replacement vehicle.