Standing commitments

Urgent Operational Requirements funded by extra Treasury money provide the fast equipment solutions that ever-changing operations demand.

Supplementing the Ministry of Defence (MOD)’s long term planned equipment programme are Urgent Operational Requirements (UOR), funded by extra Treasury money to provide the fast equipment solutions that ever-changing operations demand.

One of the most significant factors contributing to operational success is the equipment provided to our Armed Forces. Managed on a continuous basis the evolving equipment programme is reviewed at least every two years and exists to deliver long-term core capabilities for our forces.

Complementing this, Urgent Operational Requirements (UOR) deliver the speed and flexibility needed to adapt and respond to requirements specific to particular operational environments and emerging threats.

Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs)

Using additional money from the Treasury, we have approved over £3.6 billion of UORs for Iraq and Afghanistan since operations began, some 85 per cent of which is related to Force Protection.

This includes electronic countermeasures, Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Defensive Aids Suites for aircraft, and a range of other equipment for personal and force protection.

Because of the nature of UORs - and in the interest of our troops’ protection - many details must remain classified, but examples include:

Protected Patrol Vehicles (PPVs)

We have invested in additional protection for our existing vehicle fleet as well as on the provision of new protected patrol vehicles, and continue to do so.

In the past 12 months we have approved further spending of over a quarter of a billion pounds on Ridgback protected vehicles, more Mastiff protected vehicles, and the enhancements to uplift the number of Viking vehicles in theatre.

We will continue deliver improvements to the rest of our in service armoured vehicles like Bulldog, Warrior, Challenger tanks and CVR(T), including armour upgrades where required; spending around £100 million in this area.

Realising the Mastiff and Ridgback UORs will give us well over 400 heavily protected PPVs for operations and, together with the Vector Light PPV - a protected version of the proven Pinzgauer cross-country vehicle - a total of over 600 new vehicles.

Over 200 Supacat “M-WMIK” vehicles (known as Jackal) are being procured, delivering awesome firepower coupled with exceptional agility, making it ideally suited to operations in Afghanistan. Together with the Land Rover WMIK, we will have over 400 of these highly effective vehicles contributing to operations.

Medical equipment

The provision of the best possible care for our soldiers is one of our highest priorities. We have spent around £50 million on world class medical equipment to support troops on operations. This includes the latest surgical equipment, CT scanners and field hospitals.

Infantry equipment

Our soldiers have seen considerable investment and improvements in their own equipment and in the last few years we have doubled the firepower of an eight-man infantry section.

Over £50 million worth of UORs for infantry equipment have been approved, including light and heavy machine guns, grenade machine guns, underslung grenade launchers, mortar systems, more night vision goggles, light weight thermal imagers, long range sniper rifles, and state-of-the-art personal equipment.

We have provided new body armour for troops on operations and Enhanced Combat Body Armour (known as “Osprey”) is now issued to personnel deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Osprey is undoubtedly a success story, providing better protection to our troops and saving lives. It is a world-class system that uses cutting edge materials and technology.

Together with Kestrel, which is a body armour for top sentries, Commanders now have a choice of systems that enable them to balance protection levels and mobility to suit the required operational tasks.

Published 12 December 2012