Developed by Force Protection Europe and British company Ricardo, the Ocelot Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV) will replace the Snatch Land Rover.
The Ocelot armoured vehicle is equipped with a V-shaped hull designed to deflect blasts to the side of the vehicle and prevent the vehicle’s occupants from being injured. Modular technology allows the vehicle to be customised within 30 minutes according to whether it is used for patrol, fire support or as a protected logistics vehicle.
The decision, announced earlier today, comes as a big blow to the Supacat consortium, the group of companies behind the all-British alternative vehicle, the SPV400. Over 30 British companies, including Xtrac – the firm that developed and manufactured the SPV400’s unique two-speed transfer case – were involved in the rival bid.
The Ocelot and its rival, the Supacat SPV400, were designed specifically to counter the threat of IEDs in Afghanistan. Thirty-seven British troops have died whilst travelling in Afghanistan in the Snatch Land Rover – nicknamed the “mobile coffin” by British troops – prompting the Army’s search for a replacement.
Force Protection Europe’s managing director, David Hind, said: “This is excellent news for UK servicemen and women, and for the UK defense industry. Ocelot has been designed and developed in the UK from first principles, with our Team Ocelot partners, to save lives and protect against injury and to optimise maintenance and repairability. Working closely with Ricardo, our success is a tribute to the efforts of our ‘Best of British’ supply chain, including Thales, QinetiQ, Formaplex, the UK MoD’s Defence Support Group and Sula Systems.”
Supacat have issued a statement expressing “disappointment” but have vowed to find new opportunities for the SPV400 in export markets. “The SPV400 is a world class vehicle. Its development in such a short period of time is a huge achievement for the team”, said Nick Ames, managing director of Supacat; “In addition to the interest from other armed forces, we perceive that NGOs and other civilian organisations operating in dangerous areas would benefit from the high levels of armour protection and off road mobility offered by the SPV400. Therefore we will be continuing to pursue international commercial opportunities for this world-leading vehicle technology”,
The Ocelot, which can weigh 7.5 tonnes when loaded, can reach 50mph in 19.75 seconds. It is fitted with a turbocharged diesel engine.