Published 08 April 2024

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DE&S has secured a £10M contract to provide the Royal Marines with new snowmobiles , meaning they can strike faster and further across the Arctic on reconnaissance and raiding operations.

The vehicles will be used by the UK Commando Force, the nation’s specialist extreme cold weather troops who are capable of surviving, moving, and fighting across the Arctic’s inhospitable terrain. Royal Marines have traditionally moved across the snow on skis, snowshoes or towed by their armoured vehicles (known as skijoring) to get into combat.

However, due to the growing need to move more quickly over longer distances and across very difficult terrain the Specialist & Autonomous Mobility (SAM) team, part of the Land Equipment Operating Centre, has secured up to 159 Lynx Brutal Over Snow Reconnaissance Vehicles made by Finnish subsidiary of Canadian firm Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP).

Steve Hayward, Team Leader for the Specialist & Autonomous Mobility (SAM) team at Defence, Equipment and Support said:

“The breadth of equipment that we develop and procure for the Armed Forces is as diverse as the terrains that they operate in. Securing these essential capabilities for the Commando Force is yet another step forward in ensuring that our Armed Forces are properly equipped and supported at all times.

“This contract follows an intense period of Assessment Phase trialling underpinned by some outstanding collaboration between DE&S, Navy, UKSC and Industry.”

Captain Nick Unwin RN, Commando Force Programme Director said:

“This is the next step in the transformational change taking place across the Commando Force in terms of what they do and how they do it. The Lynx Brutal is a well-proven vehicle operated by many partners and allies, and will play a key part in the Commando’s ability to operate in areas and in ways that are beyond the capabilities of conventional forces in the High North.”

The snowmobiles are expected to be delivered from 2025.