Cougar MRAP, United States of America
The Cougar family of mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles is manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems. Cougar had been produced by Force Protection until it was acquired by General Dynamics in December 2011.
The Cougar MRAP can be used in command and control, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), patrol, convoy support, forward observation, reconnaissance and medical evacuation (Med-Evac) missions.
Cougar armoured vehicles are operated by forces in the United States, Canada, Hungary, Iraq, Italy, Poland, and the United Kingdom.
The Cougar is produced in 4x4 and 6x6 configurations. The Cougar mission variants include Cougar HEV (Hardened Engineer Vehicle), Cougar JERRV (Joint EOD rapid response vehicle), Cougar ISS (independent suspension system), Cougar MRAP, Badger ILAV (Iraqi Light Armoured Vehicle), Ridgback PPV (Protected Patrol Vehicle), Mastiff PPV, Wolfhound heavy tactical support vehicle and Tempest MPV.
Cougar MRAP design features
Cougar MRAP vehicles incorporate a monocoque V-shaped chassis mounting bullet-proof and blast-proof body. The conventional layout houses an engine in the front, crew cabin in the middle, and features a troop compartment at the rear. The driver and commander in the cab are protected by two rectangular transparent armoured glass windows.
The driver and commander can enter and exit the vehicle through the doors on either side of the cab. The troop compartment is provided with a double door in the rear of the vehicle. The roof is fitted with a standard hatch. Either side of the troop compartment and all access doors are provided with observation windows. The vehicle can accommodate six passengers in 4x4 configuration and ten passengers in the 6x6 configuration.
Armament of the MRAP
The standard Cougar comes with no armament outfit. The vehicle can be fitted with a remotely controlled weapon station mounting a 7.62mm machine gun, 12.7mm heavy machine gun or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher.
The Cougar MRAP vehicle offers protection against direct fire. It features protection against 7.62mm armour-piercing (AP) rounds, rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) rounds, land mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The V-shaped hull reduces the impact of blasts by directing the blast away from the vehicle. The vehicle can withstand the double TM-57 mine-equivalent explosion under any wheel, and a single explosion under the middle of the vehicle. The Cougar vehicles are optionally equipped with nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection systems.
Engine and mobility
The four-wheeled, 20,800lb Cheetah MRAP all-terrain vehicle (M-ATV) is the newest addition to the Force Dynamics (a joint venture between Force Protection and General Dynamics Land Systems) family of armoured M-ATVs.
The Cougar MRAP vehicle is powered by a Caterpillar C-7 diesel engine coupled to a six-speed Allison 3500 SP series automatic transmission. The 330hp engine generates a maximum torque of 1,166nm at 1,450rpm.
The vehicles are fitted with Hutchinson VFI (Variable Function Insert) runflats on all wheels. Cougar has a maximum speed of 104km/h and a range of 675km. It can ford a depth of 99cm. It can be airlifted by the C-17 transport aircraft.
Orders and deliveries
The Cougar vehicles were ordered by the US Marine Corps (USMC) in 2004 for deployment in Iraq. The US Department of Defence placed a $50m contract in May 2006 for 79 Cougar Joint Explosive Ordnance Disposal Rapid Response Vehicles (JERRV). An additional 200 Cougar JERRVs were ordered by the USMC in November 2006.
In August 2006, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) placed a $63m contract for 86 Cougar EOD vehicles under foreign military sales programme. The British Cougar vehicles are designated as Mastiff Protected Patrol Vehicles (Mastiff PPV).
In December 2006, Force Protection and General Dynamics Land Systems formed a joint venture called Force Dynamics to offer Cougar 4x4 and 6x6 vehicles for the US Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle programme. The company received an order in January 2007 for the testing and evaluation of two Cougar H and two Cougar HE vehicles under the MRAP programme.
In February 2007, Force Protection was awarded a $67.4m contract for 65 Cougar 4x4 Category I and 60 Cougar 6x6 Category II vehicles. In April 2007, the USMC placed a $490m contract for 300 Category I Cougar 4x4 and 700 Category II Cougar 6x6 vehicles under MRAP programme. The US Navy placed a $221m order for 395 Category I and 60 Category II Cougars in June 2007.
In June 2008, the UK MoD placed a contract for 157 Ridgback vehicles. Ridgback is a modified Cougar 4x4 vehicle developed for the British forces.
In July 2009, the US Army placed a $228m contract with Force Protection for the supply of redesigned TAK-4 independent suspension kits for 1,317 Cougar MRAP vehicles.
In February 2010, Force Protection received a $16.1m Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract from USMC for 23 Cougar Mastiff EOD variants to be delivered to the UK. In May 2010, Force Protection signed a $24m contract with USMC for 30 Cougar Category I MRAP vehicles.
In April 2011, Force Protection received a $27.4m subcontract from Integrated Survivability Technologies to deliver 47 Cougar Mastiff vehicles to the UK MoD.