British Army May Be Moving Away from the Defender - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old July 29th, 2004, 05:11 PM
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Joey C.
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British Army May Be Moving Away from the Defender

From Automotive News Europe [http://europe.autonews.com/]

22 July 2004

"One of Land Rover's oldest customers, the British Army, is defecting. The Army ordered its first 50 Land Rovers 55 years ago, but is now conducting trials to replace 10,000 Defenders in service."

---

That's all I can read since I don't have a subscription to the journal. Anyone have a subscription that can access the entire article? A pricey subscription I might add ($139 USD/year).
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  #2  
Old July 29th, 2004, 05:39 PM
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Actually, we were discussing this on the Gwagen Forum. Someone type most of it out but it's kinda broken.


For 60 years it has carried British Troops into action around the world,
from the Falklands to Sierra Leone and from Northern Ireland to Iraq.
But now the trusty Land Rover is heading into the biggest battle
yet with the Ministry of Defense eyeing up a Mercedes off-road vehicle to
replace its entire fleet of the British workhorse. Military leaders say
the German rival has edged ahead in the race (or the latest lucrative
contract, impressing Britain's top ????? with its load-carrying capability
and performance over rugged terrain. If Mercedes-Benz clinches the deal
worth an estimated 50 million, Land Rover's links with the British Forces
could be over for good.
It's vehicle has had a fine military career. The Army bought the first
Land Rovers in 1949 and today maintains the world's largest fleet of 15,000,
which act as everything from battle ambulances to mobile command posts,
missile platforms or Special FOrces long-range desert raiders(?).
The SAS drops stripped-down versions armed with machine guns deep behind
enemy lines. Others are adapted for Arctic conditions or fitted with "snorkels"
so they can drive through water.
But under the MoD's Operational Utility Vehicle System project, the entire
military fleet will be replaced from 2009.
Officials insist a final decision has not been made, but a spokesman said,
"We are looking at all the options. Alot of factors will come into play, including
cost and budgets."
Unlike the land rover, the Mercedes-Benz G-wagon was designed specifically
for the military and is favored by France, Germany, and dozens of other countries.
Adding heavy modern armour and other equiptment to Land Rovers can severely limit
their carrying power over rough ground. It means the G-Wagon's cargo capacity of
two tonnes is twice the capacity of Land ROver Defenders. Lastnight Land Rover,
now owned by the U.S. giant, Ford, but with a plant in Solihull in the West Midlands,
was putting a brave face on the challenge.
A spokesman said: 'Our last major delivery was in 1993. We are still selling
30,000 Land Rovers every year, so it's fair to say that the outcome of the deal is
not a threat to our plant in Solihull.
Technically if the G-Wagon does win the deal, it will not be the first time that the
British Army has used it. When British forces liberated the Faulkland Islands in
1982, they "inherited" dozens of G-Wagons abandoned by the Argentines.
But the Argentinian government had never paid for them, and the MoD would not
pay, so Mercedes refused to supply ?????? and the vehicles fell into ???????
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  #3  
Old July 29th, 2004, 07:24 PM
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GollyGwagon:

Which gwagon forum do you read? I like the gwagon too. It's just too bad the USA version is blinged out and costs $78k.
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  #4  
Old July 29th, 2004, 10:32 PM
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Chuck Henry
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mbnz.org is where the main Gwagen forum is.

There are lots of inexpensive older Gwagen's out there. It's a nice alternative to a 110 if your get the 4 door.
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  #5  
Old July 30th, 2004, 12:31 AM
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Plus its got lockers
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Old July 30th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover4x4
Plus its got lockers
That's true. front, center, and rear.
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  #7  
Old July 30th, 2004, 02:49 PM
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Imported Gwagens are starting to appear here in calgary see for instance
http://www.redcougar.ca/240gd.htm
I saw - or rather passed that red g-wagen, puffing smoke struggling to get up a hill here - me feeling very smug in my 90. Arent GWagens limited in the axle articulation department? Otherwise they are pretty well set up.
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Old July 30th, 2004, 03:00 PM
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The diesels are pathetic in the power department. However the 280GE (2.8l I6) Had about the same performance as my old 1996 Disco. From there power just got better with the 300/320 and now 500 models.

Articulation is fairly limited from the factory, but that's just shocks. My truck has longer shocks and springs but the only thing I did besides that is remove the sway bar.

-Q
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  #9  
Old July 30th, 2004, 04:05 PM
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Bythe way during my off road day in Solihull some years back I asked the LR propagandist conduction the course what other vehcile they rated. Only the GWagen was the answer. Nicest trick on the course was going up a 1 in 1 gradient in a 110 TDi on tickover.....with 4 on board too.
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  #10  
Old August 2nd, 2004, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithD
Nicest trick on the course was going up a 1 in 1 gradient in a 110 TDi on tickover.....with 4 on board too.
Was talking to someone from Mercedes Benz Defence a couple of weeks ago and he was telling me their G-Wagen test driver does a similar trick-except in reverse!

Defender replacement won't come into service until 2008/9. G-Wagen production is set to cease in 2006 (ironically around the same time as Defender-possibly?), but my man reckoned if there was enough interest, then MB would keep making them.
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  #11  
Old August 3rd, 2004, 10:48 AM
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come to think of it the TDi went up in reverse too - maybe reverse is lower than first?
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  #12  
Old August 3rd, 2004, 11:03 AM
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It usualy is.
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  #13  
Old August 3rd, 2004, 04:02 PM
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My two cents. If the MoD discontinues buying Land Rovers, so will other nation's armed forces (not to mention the numerous NGO's). This will increase the likelihood the Defender, as we know it, will cease to exist. Look at what happened to the Jeep when it was no longer used in any commercial capacity. When 4x4's lose their utility basis for the "lifestyle" designation, they become stage props for the identity challenged.

The G-Wagen was scheduled to be replaced shortly with something sharing the M-Class platform. It is ashame we don't get anything other than the P-Diddy version. The two-door with diesel and 5-speed would a nice truck to own for many years.
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  #14  
Old August 3rd, 2004, 04:57 PM
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I agree. Land Rovers now sell chiefly on image - an image that can, but increasingly less so, be backed up by technical aspects. That image is reinforced by their use by the military, the camel Trophy, and the African Reputation. Camel no longer exists. Africa buys Toyotas...only leaves military. Without that, the image will go and the price premium will be something people will just not be prepared to pay. For practical purposes they are just are better with an Escape or Saturn Vue than a Freelander. Ford needs to realise this.
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  #15  
Old August 3rd, 2004, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Without that, the image will go and the price premium will be something people will just not be prepared to pay.
I disagree only slightly with this. They are continuing the image, just not in the way we (collectively) view it. By putting on fluffy events like the G4, they can continue to use these events to back their image. In effect, putting on a showy event with no real purpose other than promoting image. No test of man or metal, no common good for the indiginous people. Just purely driving trucks on trails and making up campy challengers for teams to play around in. Plays directly into their marketing and evolving product line. People will pay a premium (maybe) for a vehicle they feel they 'may' want to do all of those "adventure" things in.

But I never said I like it. I just see the clear vision of what they are doing.
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  #16  
Old August 3rd, 2004, 08:09 PM
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This is just very sad.
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