Fastrax wins £290m contract to supply army with fleet of tank transporters

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A contract worth £290m for a fleet of new mammoth tank transporters – capable of carrying more than 90 tanks straight to the frontline at speeds of up to 50mph – has been placed with the UK-based Fastrax consortium. The consortium, led by the engineering group Brown & Root, will provide heavy equipment transportation services to the army.

The 20-year deal is part of the Private Finance Initiative and the Sponsored Reserves concept which enables the contractor's staff, who have volunteered to join the Territorial Army as sponsored reserves, to be given military training in peacetime.

The Defence Procurement Minister Lord Bach said: "These tank transporters will be the biggest and best in the world, capable of operating on or off-road over harsh terrain. We have real innovation here: this is the first time that PFI has been used to support directly front-line activities and these principles will be applied to other equipment projects."

The transporters will comprise of 8x8 military tractor units supplied by Oshkosh Truck Corporation coupled to a sophisticated seven-axle trailer built by King Trailers of Market Harborough. More than 75 jobs will be sustained or created in the UK, with about 75 per cent of the contract by value being placed with UK companies.