Devon-based manufacturer, Supacat, has been awarded a £19m contract by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to deliver Jackal 2 armoured vehicles, in response to its Urgent Operational Requirement programme.
With support from engineering specialists, Babcock, Supacat plans to deliver 110 Jackal 2 vehicles and 70 6×6 Coyote Tactical Support Vehicles to the armed forces as part of a £700m Protected Mobility Package.
Under the agreement, Supacat will be responsible for the design, development and integration of vehicles, and will work closely with the MoD’s Protected Mobility Team to receive feedback on alterations to its original design.
An initial prototype has already been released, with minor changes to the chassis and payload of Jackal 1.
Sean Limbrick, Supacat’s chief engineer, said: ‘The biggest change is that the gun ring has moved forward to give a 360-degree sweep of fire, whereas the old Jackal was fundamentally limited to fire backwards.
‘The design also has enhanced carriers for Jerrycans so that soldiers can take those out and increase storage space for ammunition and provisions.
‘The increased payload has meant that we’ve had to redesign the chassis, to make it stronger and easier to maintain.’
Supacat was the original designer of the Jackal, which served the MoD as a weapons-mounted patrol vehicle in Afghanistan.
According to the MoD, the vehicle can travel at off-road speeds of up to 80km/h and claims to be a safer alternative to its WMIK predecessor in terms of armoured protection and agility.
Limbrick added: ‘The armour provision is the same on Jackal 2 as it is on Jackal 1.
‘That’s because its proven, we haven’t gone through any iteration to improve the armour further.
‘Essentially, what the new design allows us to do is carry more payload which has always been a limitation with Jackal 1.’
The vehicles will be manufactured at Babcock’s Devonport dockyard facility, and are scheduled for delivery later this year.
Babcock’s share of the contract is worth £55m.