LAST YEAR, while out in Poland covering Exercise Anaconda ’16, I spotted an upgrade fitted to some Wolf 90 and 110 Defenders used by different British Army units on training areas many miles apart. As I reported in my December 2016 column, around 7000 Mantec swingaway spare wheel carriers, plus conversion kits, had been procured by UK MOD.
Nobody I spoke to was prepared to be quoted on the record, but most said they believed this purchase to be Health & Safety related, intended to make it easier for female and shorter male drivers to change the heavy spare wheel stowed high behind the passenger door. Anyone who has had experience in this with a steel military wheel shod in Goodyear G90 rubber will know it is not easy.
Incredibly, the procurement team who specified the conversion package seem to have got it wrong and as a result over 6000 carriers have now been cast and sold off for just £125 apiece!