Tuesday, 27 May 2008

The Jackal: best of both worlds?

It is believed that the sad death of Marine Dale Gostick of 3 Troop Armoured Support Company, Royal Marines last Sunday was caused when a landmine exploded underneath his Viking armoured vehicle also injuring two of his mates.
There are renewed concerns that the Viking provides insufficient protection to the troops it carries; that, whilst strongly armoured on its sides, it is vulnerable to explosions underneath. Five Vikings have been blown up by mines or IEDs. Just as with the Warriors, an extra layer of armour may now be added to the Vikings to give them added protection. However, the Army says there is a trade-off: heavily armoured vehicles restrict both contact with local people and the accessible area of operations. But protecting servicemen must always be the paramount consideration.

The new 7-tonne Jackal, recently started to be shipped to Afghanistan, may provide the answer. Although incorporating a fully-integrated protection system and reinforced armour plating, Jackal's main defences are its mobility and agility. With a weapons platform that incorporates 12.7mm machine guns, 40mm grenade launchers and General Purpose Machine Guns, "it packs as much power as some of our tanks!" "It's awesome. It does exactly what it says on the tin!"
200 of these ATVs have been ordered. If they're as good as they say, then the sooner they get to Afghanistan the better.

Link> MoD: Awesome firepower and agility puts Jackal in class of its own
Link> The Times: Fears for patrol vehicles as blast kills serviceman in Afghanistan