Cougar H Series 4x4
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: ILAV, JERRV, MRAP Category I and Ridgeback
Origin: United States of America
BAE Systems, Force Protection Inc* and Spartan Motors Chassis (*) lead contractor
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Description: Cougar H is a family of medium, mine-protected, multi-role vehicles produced by US manufacturer Force Protection Inc to suit military operations in a variety of scenarios including the urban environment and minefields. Wheeled Cougar H is available in 4x4 and 6x6 layout. The 6x6 variant can transport up to 10 troops or 4 persons plus an explosive/ordnance disposal robot. In addition to the personnel/cargo carrier role, Cougar H suits command and control, artillery primary mover, recovery vehicle and ambulance roles.
Cougar H Series 4x4 can serve in support of EOD teams as well as performing communications, command and control, and reconnaissance related missions. This vehicle is protected against mines and blast effects. It is powered by a Caterpillar C-7 diesel engine yielding 330-shp of power which allows the 15-ton Cougar to cruise at 55 mph (90 kph) at ranges of up to 600 miles (900+ km) on highway. In addition to the mine and blast protection, the vehicle's armor and glass can withstand ballistic impacts from 7.62mm NATO ammunition.
Cougar H Series 4x4 has been ordered for United States forces deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq Cougar demonstrated can survive roadside bombs and urban ambush which were a common threat over there. Cougar along with Buffalo mine clearance vehicles were used for clearing Iraq's roads and highways from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) threatening US convoys. In addition to steel plates, ceramics and hull design, Cougar can be armed with roof-mounted small caliber guns delivering additional protection.
The Intenational/Iraqi Light Armored Vehicle (ILAV) is a 4x4 V-shaped hull, mine protected vehicle used in several countries to fulfill a variety of roles. Since 2006, BAE Systems has delivered more than 700 ILAVs to several customers worldwide.
As of 2005, the United States armed forces have ordered more than 122 Cougars. The US Marine Corps was the first ever service to deploy operational Cougar in Iraq. According to Force Protection the US military would need around 1,000 Cougars in the years to come.
Early in June 2006, the US Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command awarded BAE Systems a $180 million contract for 378 Cougar Light Armored Vehicles for the Armed Forces of Iraq. Deliveries were expected to complete by May 2007.
On 23 October 2006 BAE Systems was awarded a $7.8 million to manufacture 20 additional Iraqi Light Armored Vehicles (ILAVs) as part of a contract issued June 2006. The contract and its options allow for production of 1,050 vehicles worth $445 million.
On 9 November 2006 the US Marine Corps awarded Force Protection a $125 million contract for the production and delivery of 100 JERRV (Cougar 4x4 equipped with EOD) and 44 Buffalo mine-protected clearance vehicles. These vehicles were ordered to be deployed in Iraq by November 2007. Contract options could increase the order value to $214 million for 200 JERRVs and 82 Buffalos.
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