The British Army’s increased emphasis upon survivability was among the factors which precluded cooperation with the Swedish Army in developing a vehicle that would meet the needs of both forces. BAE Systems Hägglunds has developed both 6 x 6 and tracked demonstrators for the Sweden’s Splitterskyddad EnhetsPlaftorm (SEP or Modular Armoured Tactical System) project. When it became apparent the 6 x 6 vehicle would be light to meet the UK’s requirements BAE Systems developed two 8 x 8 SEP chassis for the FRES UV programme with a baseline weight of 14t and a combat weight of about 24t. To the surprise of many observers the BAE Systems was not included in the FRES shortlist.
A more mature design which was not included in the FRES shortlist despite achieving considerable export success since its launch 2002 is the Armoured Modular Vehicle (AMV) from Finland’s Patria Vehicles. Building on its experience with the successful XA series of 6 x 6 APCs Patria developed the AMV in close cooperation with the Finnish Defence Forces. The 8 x 8 AMV has a maximum combat weight of 27t, including a 10t payload, and is able to withstand the detonation of 8 kg of TNT anywhere beneath the vehicle. At 7.1m the 6 x 6 variant is 0.6m shorter than the 8 x 8 vehicle but with a maximum combat weight of 19.5 t it can still carry up to 10 personnel.
Tha AMV vehicle stems from an investigation made by the Finnish Army HQ in 1995 on different armored vehicle concepts. In 1996, Patria Vehicles began to develop different concept vehicles, and found the 8x8 vehicle to be most suitable as a replacement for the 6x6 Sisu Pasi. The Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) ordered an official concept study in 1999, which was ready by 2000. Patria continued to develop the vehicle and the first AMV prototype was ready for testing in November 2001. Two evaluation vehicles were ordered by the FDF in December 2001, and were delivered in 2003. Later the same year, the FDF ordered 24 AMOS-equipped Patria AMVs for delivery 2006-2009.
The 24 120mm AMOS mortar carriers and 62 APCs order by Finland to date represent only a fraction of the army’s eventual requirement. The launch customer for the AMV was the Polish Land Forces which ordered 690 vehicles, including 32 6 x 6 models, in 2002. Variants include IFVs, APCs, command, engineer, ambulance and recovery variants vehicles. In mid-2007 Poland became the first user to deploy the AMV on operational service when it sent vehicles to Afghanistan. The AMV has since been sold to Croatia (84 8 x 8s), Slovenia (135 8 x 8s) and South Africa (264). The South African IFV will be fitted with Denel Land Systems Light Compact Turret 30 armed with the company’s new 30mm GI 30 linkless feed cannon. South African variants include command, mortar, fire support and missile variants.