RC, I think what you meant to say was 'they will keep CVR(T).' I don't think it has much growth potential left!
As for wheels vs tracks. There are some very capable wheeled vehicles around these days (Patira AMV and MRAV) that will give tracks a good run for their money off road and will cream them on road. I suspect that FRES will probably end up as a mixture, depending on the cpability required.
had the opportunity to do the trial on VERDI 2. Anyone remember that? Excellent concept, but putting it in a smaller vehicle than a gutted Warrior was the main problem, heard at the end of the trial the new recce vehicle would be a cross between VERDI 2 and whatever was 'popular' at the time(?)
A lot of scimitars have got espire fitted now (thermal) it is a great bit of kit . What people forget about recce vehicals is that they are really a radio platform for the crew to use . A lot of the time FR regiments are dis-mounted in OP's etc . Its the crew that is the very important bit . Passing information on what it can see higher granted CVR(T) is old ( my vehicle was made when i was one ) it has been updated numerous times and there are some even newer updates knocking around Bovvy.We used it at Dogwood and it proved how good it was there . However with Bowman etc there may be problems . A lot of other countrys use wheeled vehicals . Generally they are much bigger than CVR(T) which is pretty pointless for recce and once again in our business its the guys inside / outside that matter .
LISTY to answer your questions . In FR yes there is a lot of dis-mounted stuff if its in scimitars which operate in pairs 3-4 crew members would dis-mount . As for new vehicals it was all go for Tracer then that got scrapped so it switched to FRES that is still the plan so i have been told , but there is no money around to pay for it . CVR(t) is still good for a while yet but a lot of it depends on the Bowman stuff . Panther havnt got a clue . I love my scimitar and its got the best BV in the army thats the important thing .
But tracks are noisy where wheels are not! Dont get me wrong i worked on CVR(T) for years and loved it but dismounted OP's are for support troop whilst mounted OP's must be done from a turret in order to best use your optics, TI etc. RC is totally right when he says its really a radio platform but with Bosnia and Kosovo the platform must be able to multi task and protect itself and others if need be. Pros and cons with tracks and wheels and some highly paid rupert will make that decision one day!
Just take a look at what ATDU are playing with at Bovvy and that might give you a clue!?!
RC the most important thing of all is, as you say a BV! The difference between the armoured crewman and a grunt!!!!