Without wishing to flog the matter to death, it is rather unfair to judge the capability limitations of Warrior solely against the way in which it is used now. (“Warriors live to fight another day” PE July and letters August).
Context is all important as ever. The vehicle was designed in the early 1980s for a very different use in NW Europe during the height of the cold war. The generic title within the MOD during Project Definition etc. was Mechanised Infantry Combat Vehicle (MICV). Its job was to carry infantry onto the battlefield in the company of heavy tanks and let them dismount as close to the enemy as possible, before leaving to get more. There was a big debate as whether it should have a weapon larger than a machine gun at all, given that it was not intended to stand and fight. The 30mm RARDEN cannon was fitted as a self defence weapon for use while the vehicle was static and more vulnerable. Therefore, it did not need stabilisation which is costly. As it was, the cost of a whole fleet of Warriors for the Infantry was judged to be unaffordable and some rode to war in the unloved but cheap Saxon wheeled vehicle, with no cannon. Time passed, Warrior upgrade programmes got planned, postponed then cancelled and the cold war ended. But Warrior remained in service largely unchanged.
The fact that Warrior has subsequently been up-armoured and used fairly successfully in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan as a surrogate light(ish) tank that can carry soldiers inside has been a happy legacy of that contested cold war decision to fit a cannon at all. The real scandal here is the amount of time and money wasted on the Future Rapid Effects System (FRES) armoured vehicle programme and its twenty plus years of aborted antecedents which conspired to stop the upgrade being done rather earlier.
Jeremy Retford, Malmesbury, Wilts