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Anglo-American Effort Improves British Logistics Vehicle Protection

The armored version of Navistar Defense' International MXT-MV was selected by the U.K. to become the 'Husky' tactical protected vehicle, supporting military units deployed in areas inaccessible by heavier MRAP armored trucks. Photo: Navistar Defense

Two Anglo-American industry teams are working across the Atlantic Ocean to bolster the protection of British Army's logistical support in Afghanistan. In the upcoming months, units assigned to Operation Herric are expected to receive the first shipments of some 300 armored trucks, in response for an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) by the theater commanders, calling for augmenting the fleet of British MRAP class Mastiff and RidgeBack armored vehicles already deployed in theater.

Integrated Survivability Technologies Limited (IST), a joint venture company between Force Protection Inc and U.K. Coventry-based NP Aerospace is working on the Wolfhound, an armored truck based on a U.S. made 6x6 Cougar flatbed logistical support MRAP. The other program currently underway is the all-terrain Husky armored protected vehicles, delivered by U.S. based Navistar Defense and locally completed for the U.K. services by Dytecna, based in Malvern.

The Wolfhound is based on a flatbed version of the Force Protection 6x6 Cougar. Photo: MOD

The Wolfhounds are being supplied as part of the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) Tactical Support Vehicle program. These vehicles are being modified into a highly protected load carrying vehicle to augment British Army support units already deploying the Mastiff (also based on the 6x6 Cougar). The Wolfhound is designed to carry out a variety of tasks such as moving up to 4.5 tons of supplies, carry bulky stores for use in the construction of forward bases; as a Gun Tractor and Gun Limber for the Royal Artillery's 105 Light Gun and finally to carry general stores like ammunition, food or water. Wolfhound will be armed with a 7.62 GPMG self defense weapon and the normal fit of radio and electronic equipment. The Wolfhound can carry a crew of two plus two passengers. It is designed to travel at a road speed of 55 mph. Its commonality of design will ensure that the support solution is already in place, and that the training bill for troops using the fleet is minimized. MOD has ordered over 90 Wolfhounds as part of a £90M contract.

"The capacity, performance and outstanding protection afforded by the vehicle will be much welcomed by front-line troops." says British MOD Defence Equipment & Support project manager, Nick Fox, "building on lessons learnt from previous Urgent Operational Requirements and working closely with the new joint venture company, Integrated Survivability Technologies (IST), an improved capability will be delivered.",

Force Protection Chief Executive Officer and chairman of IST, Michael Moody, is optimistic about his company's future UK business. "Much like the Wolfhound vehicle requirement, Force Protection and NP Aerospace have come a long way in a very short time. We have established a partnership in the United Kingdom that we believe will become the base for growing our relationship with the UK Ministry of Defence." said Moody.

An updated version of the Husky produced by Navistar Defense and equipped to meet the British specification by Dytecna. Among the modifications are thicker transparent armor shields, MRAP style two-piece armored windscreen and grill, raised air intake with improved dust-protected filter and missionized truckbed. Photo: Navistar Defense via MOD

Another program currently underway is the assembly of 200 all-terrain Husky vehicles, under a £120m contract awarded to Navistar Defense. The Husky is provides a robust, highly mobile protected support vehicle for a wide range of missions including transporting food, water and ammunition, and acting as a command vehicle at headquarters. Some vehicles will be fitted out as protected ambulances. Navistar Defense is providing the basic armoured vehicles, which are being completed in the U.K. by Malvern based Dytecna. The first prototype has arrived in the UK recently, according to Lieutenant Colonel Nick Wills, Tactical Support Vehicle Programme Manager in Defence Equipment and Support's Protected Mobility Team. "We look forward to getting to grips with trials and integration work." said Col. Wills, adding that the design has picked up on many of the lessons from current operations.

Plasan's armor protection style is clearly evident in this view of the Husky, based on Navistar Defense' MXT-MV. Photo via MOD