Mod Visit Group LI

Ricardo showcases special vehicle capability with Major General Crook and DE&S

04 Dec 2023


We were delighted to host Major General Darren Crook, Director, Land Equipment for Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) and his team at our Shoreham Technical Centre to view our capability in special vehicles engineering. Here Paul Tarry, Special Vehicles Manager, sets out the important role that our expertise, undertaken in longstanding partnership with original equipment manufacturers, continues to play in guiding the defence sector to safely implement their vehicle fleets of the future.

Military personnel around the world rely on innovative equipment and support in order to carry out their duties – protecting them as they in turn protect us. Serving personnel rely on vehicles which are safe, reliable and high performing in some of the most challenging conditions, environments and terrains around the world. For defence procurement teams globally, getting the right vehicles increasingly means working with original equipment manufacturers and a trusted engineering consultancy like Ricardo, to adapt existing commercial platforms for the defence sector. 

Ricardo has a long and proven track record in this field, and we were therefore delighted to showcase our capability to Major General Crook and his team and discuss our collaborations with General Dynamics and Ford respectively.

We have a long passion for the Foxhound vehicle. We designed and built the very first batch of 376 vehicles in partnership with Force Protection Europe/General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS). We are currently collaborating with GDLS-UK on the next generation of Foxhound as an ideal common platform within the future light mobility leet. The modular platform design provides an ideal basis to develop a range of vehicles alongside the protected patrol role. 

In addition, we have a strong technical relationship with Ford and knowledge of their products and processes built on years of development of their vehicles and propulsion systems. The Ford Ranger is a robust, cost-effective, globally available platform which is the ideal base platform both for general service as well as specialised adaptations up to 6,500kg gross vehicle weight. Our collaborative development of these adaptations – such as the HEX 6x4 and 6x6 products - is sympathetic to base platform and meets Ford quality standards thus preserving base product warranty. As defence procurement increasingly reflects the need for sustainability – for example, DE&S has committed to having net zero carbon emissions from its operations and infrastructure across its sites by 2040 -our expertise in safely integrating hybrid systems to the diesel products to combine export power with compatibility with military fuel JP8 becomes ever important. 

Describing his time with us, Major General Crook said: “A brilliant visit: thank you. To see the heritage of the business playing out and evolving was fascinating. The purpose of: ‘To create a safe and sustainable world’ really chimed and it is clear you are absolutely behind it as you look to maximise efficiency and eliminate waste. A really insightful day in the office - thank you one and all, it is clear you are on a journey to become a global leader in strategy and engineering consultancy for environmental and energy transition.”

Paul Tarry

Paul Tarry