‘Crazy’ plans to scrap the army’s Warrior infantry fighting vehicle have been scrapped in a £1.4billion about-face.
The 720-strong chained fleet with turret-mounted guns is now scheduled to last through 2030 and beyond.
Top Brass said the war in Ukraine “riddled” ministers’ arguments that the army didn’t need them.
The Warriors were designed to send infantry troops into battle alongside Challenger tanks.
Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace hoped to phase them out and replace them with boxer wheeled vehicles by 2025. Only two were delivered.
General Sir Richard Shirreff, once NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, said: “It was crazy to cancel Warrior and absolutely right to reinstate it.”
“Once we see a high-intensity war between states, like we’re seeing in Ukraine, we realize we need armor that can move at the same speed as tanks.”
Extending the Warrior’s service will cost at least £1.4billion – the same as a planned upgrade program that will end in 2021.
The Ministry of Defense spent £430million testing new parts but was cut short before a single vehicle could be upgraded.
A source said: “This is classic sourcing f***. We get the same old vehicles as we have had since 1983 and the same £1.4 billion bill.”
The Department of Defense dismissed the claims as “inaccurate speculation.” A 2021 Department of Defense draft on the future of the Army, known as the Command Paper, said Boxer would replace Warrior “by mid-decade.”