The Army’s £440million upgrade on the much-maligned ‘Snatch’ Land Rover breaks down in the heat of Iraq and Afghanistan, it has been revealed.
The British-made Foxhound had been earmarked as a replacement for the Northern Ireland-era Snatch vehicles, which have been dubbed ‘coffins on wheels’ by soldiers.
But the armoured patrol trucks have provoked the irk of squaddies in desert-like conditions due to them regularly cutting out in temperatures over 122F (50C).
The Ministry of Defence ordered 400 units of Foxhound from General Dynamics Land Systems, a company based in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.
The Ministry of Defence ordered 400 units of Foxhound (pictured) from General Dynamics Land Systems, a company based in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
The Ocelot (left) is thought to be a big improvement on the Snatch (right), with its high-ground clearance and V-shaped hull designed to deflect bomb damage
Originally known as the Ocelot, top brass had high hopes that the truck could replace the ‘Snatch’ vehicles.
Designed to withstand damage from arsenal used by IRA insurgents, they failed to protect soldiers from IEDS in Basra and Helmand, with 37 squaddies dying while inside the trucks.
An army source told The Sun: ‘They’re a massive waste of money. It’s a speed boat engine in a truck.
‘They break down all the time. They can’t handle the heat. They have a massive problem and at 50 degrees the engine cooks out.
‘I’m having to do the two yearly full strip-down service every five or six weeks.’
The Ocelot is thought to be a big improvement on the Snatch, with its high-ground clearance and V-shaped hull designed to deflect bomb damage.
The poorly protected Snatch (pictured) – nicknamed ‘mobile coffins’ because of their vulnerability to blasts – were finally replaced in 2008
In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that relatives of four servicemen who died in Iraq could seek compensation for negligence and breach of human rights.
Three of the men were killed when their controversial Snatch Land Rovers were blown up by roadside bombs.
The poorly protected vehicles – nicknamed ‘mobile coffins’ because of their vulnerability to blasts – were finally replaced in 2008.
Private Phillip Hewett, 21, of Tamworth, Staffordshire, died when his Snatch struck an improvised explosive device in July 2005; Private Lee Ellis, 23, of Wythenshaw, Greater Manchester, was killed in February 2006; and Lance Corporal Kirk Redpath, 22, of Romford, Essex, died in August 2007.
Their families argued that the MoD was culpable because it failed to provide adequately protected vehicles and knew the Land Rovers were vulnerable to blasts.