The Commons defence select committee said a need for "medium-weight armoured vehicles capable of deploying quickly" had been identified nine years ago.
But this remained "nothing more tangible than a concept", with millions of pounds being wasted, it added
"The MoDâs attempts to meet its medium-weight vehicle requirement have been a sorry story of indecision, changing requirements and delay. It is high time the MoD decided where its priorities lay. We shall take further evidence on the FRES programme in the Autumn of this year."
Estimated in service early 2010's or 2017 according to an external review and the end product may well be too heavy for future air transport in the shape of the A400M, which of itself seems to be in trouble. So not much of a surprise to see another enquiry on the way
"The Defence Committeeâs inquiry will examine the progress made since the Strategic Defence Review in improving its Strategic Lift. The MoD has sought to improve this capability through a Public Finance Initiative (PFI) deal for six Roll-on Roll-off ferries, the purchase of five C-17 large transport aircraft from the US and the future procurement of 25 new A400M aircraft. But experience in Iraq and Afghanistan suggests that problems remain, particularly with airlift."
"The Committee will be looking closely at the progress of the A400M military transport aircraft programme â a European collaborative programme involving seven nations. The forecast in-service date for the A400M, which will replace the UKâs remaining Hercules C-130K fleet, has slipped to March 2011. The Committee will examine how the MoD is managing the capability gap caused by this slippage; and will also look at the A400Mâs ability to transport future platforms such as the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) vehicles"
Or perhaps lack thereof.