UK UK to fast-track deal to buy German armored vehicles: report

UK to fast-track deal to buy German armored vehicles: report

Britain's Defence Secretary Michael Fallon.
Britain’s Defence Secretary Michael Fallon.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence wants to fast-track the purchase of 800 armored vehicles from Germany because it fears that the fall in the value of sterling could lead to unconfirmed projects being canceled, the Times newspaper reported on Saturday.

A ministry spokeswoman said a decision had not been taken on the strategy for purchasing mechanized infantry vehicles, or MIV.

Citing unnamed defense industry sources, the Times said the purchase of a fleet of eight-wheeled armored vehicles from a consortium led by Germany’s Rheinmetall [RHMG.DE] would cost 3 billion pounds ($3.73 billion).

Sterling has fallen nearly 20 percent against the U.S. dollar since Britain’s vote to leave the European Union on June 23. The Times said military officials were worried the fall in the value of the currency could force the government to postpone or cancel projects that are not already on the books.

The newspaper said that a move to seal the deal quickly on the armored vehicles with the German-led consortium would rule out a competitive tender for the contract.

“While no decision has been taken on the acquisition strategy for MIV, our approach is competitive procurement wherever possible,” the ministry spokeswoman said.