Tuesday 11 July 2006

Let's see now

A Dingo armoured vehicle after being nit by a mineAccording to DefenseNews, the German Parliament last week approved the procurement of an additional 149 Dingo 2 mine protected vehicles. This is after German forces were attacked three times last week in northern Afghanistan, including a suicide attack that failed to inflict harm on the crew of a Dingo vehicle, but killed and injured several Afghan civilians.

The decision was immediately criticised by Die Welt which complained the additional vehicles were not enough for the prospect of Germany committing itself to more out of area operations. This was echoed by Johannes Kahrs, a Social Democrat and defence rapporteur in the parliament’s budget committee. He believes that 149 vehicles is "too few and, more importantly, too late".

Let's see now. The German Army already has the Dingo in Afghanistan, where it is saving lives and is buying more – only to have the parliament complain that not enough are being bought. The US has purchased RG-31s, Cougars and Buffaloes. The Canadians have bought RG-31s as their patrol vehicle in Afghanistan. And the French have embarked on a crash programme of up-armouring their VBL armoured cars to increase protection against IEDs.

Five countries, therefore, are buying specialist, mine protected vehicles or adapting existing vehicles, to enhance troop protection in hotspots like Afghanistan and Iraq. And the British MoD? Ah… Lord Drayson thinks that "the Snatch Land Rover provides us with the mobility and level of protection that we need."