View Full Version : Royal Marines praise the designers of the Jackal

09-23-2009, 12:09 PM
An Equipment and Logistics news article

23 Sep 09

The first Royal Marines to use the Jackal high mobility vehicles in Afghanistan met with the designers and engineers of the vehicle yesterday to give them their feedback.
Nige Platt, Royal Marines Retired, driving a Jackal at the Supacat media event

Among the Marines singing the praises of the vehicle was Sergeant Mark Haig who believes the vehicle saved his life after a device detonated underneath one he was travelling in.

The Jackal is built by Supacat, based at Dunkeswell, Devon, which is where members of the Royal Marines Brigade Reconnaissance Force, who were deployed to Helmand from October 2008 to March 2009, met the vehicle's engineers and designers yesterday, Tuesday 22 September 2009.

The Marines were the first unit to use the Jackals in Afghanistan for a full six-month tour and therefore the feedback that they brought to yesterday's meeting was invaluable.

Jamie Clarke, the Supacat Sales and Marketing Manager, said:

"They came back to report to us and provide direct user feedback to our engineers on how the vehicle performed and how we can improve it.

"The meeting helped our engineers to understand how the vehicle is operating and was a really valuable exercise to them."

On the whole it seems that the Marines were very satisfied with the Jackal 4x4 vehicles which are used for patrols by British troops in Afghanistan.

Armed with an array of weapon platforms, it is one of the most agile and versatile vehicles with high levels of off-road mobility enabling troops to avoid well-trodden routes, giving them a degree of unpredictability - an essential tactical asset in itself.

The design of the vehicle's hull incorporates advanced armour protection features and the vehicle is able to operate in open desert and mountainous terrain, taking the fight to the enemy away from ground of their choosing.

Sergeant Adrian Foster of 42 Commando said at yesterday's meeting:

"We're facing an intelligent and determined enemy and we have to outwit them. This vehicle helps us go places they aren't expecting us to be."

Jamie Clarke continued:

"The basic feedback we received yesterday was that the vehicles have been very successful and the Marines only reported minor complaints to us such as electrical connectors failing which now we know about we can change and improve very easily.

"They also gave us feedback on the terrain the vehicle is being used on and how it affects the Jackal which we can look at to see if we can improve components in the future.

"But not one of them could suggest more than three things to improve on the vehicle and overall they're really impressed with it."

Sergeant Mark Haig, Royal Marines

The most impressed Marine at yesterday's meeting was perhaps Sergeant Mark Haig, who was protected from an almost certainly fatal blast by the protection afforded by the Jackal.

He was in the front of a Jackal in Helmand earlier this year when an improvised explosive device detonated under the vehicle, badly damaging it, but not seriously injuring any of his crew. He said:

"The seats collapsed and the protection systems worked. It did what it was supposed to do. It could have been fatal if I hadn't been in the Jackal - no vehicle is invincible but it is a great vehicle and very manoeuvrable. It does what it's designed to do and it makes a big difference out on operations."

Jamie Clarke added:

"We were pleased to hear about the survivability of the vehicle. And also surprised by the extremes they were being used in in Afghanistan such as being driven up sheer mountainsides to give the Marines better firing points.

"But we were really surprised by the Marines' husbandry of the vehicles and to hear how they cherish and look after them. They really understand that the vehicle can save their lives and they have to look after it and only use its full capability when absolutely necessary."

Royal Marines attending the Supacat media event
Yesterday's meeting was the first of its kind that Supacat have held. Jamie Clarke said:

"We've had some operator feedback before but not as focused as this. The guys got round the table together with the engineers and drilled down into the details and discussed suggestions for improvements. To have direct feedback like this is fantastic.

"It was also nice for the engineers to meet the people who are using their vehicles and to have the Marines come and meet the engineers who have built the vehicles for them. They know the vehicles are saving their lives and most seemed very keen to get back out there and use them again."

Supacat are currently producing the Jackal 2 for the British Armed Forces and Coyote Tactical Support Vehicles.

The enhanced Jackal 2 features improved manoeuvrability and reliability, and will be able to carry three crew members - one more t