A fleet of nearly 200 new armoured vehicles has been ordered by the Ministry of Defence to support frontline troops on operations, it was announced today.
The £74M order for about 110, state-of-the-art, enhanced Jackal 2 vehicles and more than 70 Coyote Tactical Support Vehicles has been awarded to vehicle manufacturer Supacat, who has formed an alliance with Babcock to deliver the new beasts.
Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies, announced the contract during a Supacat vehicle drive day at the Long Valley Test Ground in Aldershot.
"These impressive vehicles will give our troops increased protection on frontline operations and with their purchase, we are showing our commitment to provide our service personnel with the very best equipment we possibly can.
"This contract comes as our newest armoured vehicles, Mastiff 2 and Ridgback, go to Afghanistan for the first time, underlining our ability to deliver kit quickly to where it is needed."
The enhanced Jackal 2 features improved manoeuvrability, improved reliability and will be able to carry an extra crew member.
The Coyote Tactical Support Vehicle (TSV (Light)) is based on a 6x6 derivative of the Jackal. It will support our go-anywhere, high-mobility Jackals across the harsh terrain in Afghanistan.
Both vehicles have been bought as part of the £700M Protected Patrol Vehicles package unveiled by the Secretary of State for Defence, John Hutton, last October.
Jackal 2 and Coyote are scheduled to be delivered to the MOD from summer 2009 onwards. The vehicles are expected to support operations in Afghanistan from the autumn.
Supacat, based at Dunkswell, Devon, will be the prime contractor and will be responsible for design, development, prototyping, integration and overall programme management.
Babcock will be responsible for detailed production planning, purchasing and manufacture at their Devonport dockyard facility.
Nick Ames, Supacat Managing Director, said:
"This alliance will help to ensure that our Armed Forces receive the best possible equipment within the shortest possible timescale. The enhanced Jackal 2 and Coyote Tactical Support Vehicle (Light) will increase troops' protection and their operational effectiveness. We are extremely pleased that we can help in this way."
Roger Gillespie, Babcock's Equipment Solutions Managing Director, added:
"We have previously worked closely with Supacat in delivering more than 200 Jackals to the MOD and this contract will further demonstrate that this method of design, production and delivery is the best for MOD's needs."
1. Jackal 2 will have a 6.7-litre engine giving it a top speed of 80mph on roads and 55mph cross country. Jackal 2 will have a crew of three.
2. The £74M contract for Jackal 2 and Coyote will secure and sustain jobs at both Supacat and Babcock.