(NSI News Source Info) April 26, 2009: A fleet of nearly 200 new armoured vehicles to support front line troops on operations has now been ordered by the MOD, it was announced yesterday, Tuesday 21 April 2009. The £74m order for around 110 enhanced Jackal 2 vehicles and more than 70 Coyote Tactical Support Vehicles has been awarded to vehicle manufacturer Supacat, which has formed an alliance with Babcock. Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment drive Jackal vehicles providing security along a convoy route in Kajaki on Operation OQAB TSUKA, in Afghanistan, in this undated handout photograph received in London on September 2, 2008. British troops backed by special forces completed one of the largest logistical operations of the 7-year Afghan conflict on Tuesday, delivering a 200-tonne turbine to a remote Taliban-dominated region. The huge turbine, which promises to deliver power across south Afghanistan once running, was carried by a 100-vehicle convoy that inched its way across Taliban territory for five days to reach a hydroelectric dam on the Kajaki reservoir. Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment drive Jackal vehicles providing security along the convoy route in Kajaki on Operation OQAB TSUKA. British Forces have successfully delivered a hydro-electric turbine over 180km from Kandahar Airfield to the Kajaki dam in the north of Helmand province. The operation, codenamed �OQAB TSUKA�, or �Eagle�s Summit� was to deliver a turbine that is to be installed in the Kajaki dam in order to provide much needed electricity to parts of Southern Afghanistan. The enhanced Jackal 2 features improved manoeuvrability and reliability, and will be able to carry three crew members; one more than its predecessor. The Coyote Tactical Support Vehicle is based on a 6x6 derivative of the Jackal and will support the go-anywhere, high mobility Jackals across the harsh terrain of Afghanistan. Both vehicles have been bought as part of the £700m Protected Patrol Vehicles package unveiled by the Secretary of State for Defence, John Hutton, last October. Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies, announced the contract during a Supacat vehicle drive day at the Long Valley Test Ground in Aldershot yesterday, 21 April 2009. He said: "These impressive vehicles will give our troops increased protection on front line operations and with their purchase we are showing our commitment to provide our Service personnel with the very best equipment we possibly can. "This contract comes as our newest armoured vehicles, Mastiff 2 and Ridgback, go to Afghanistan for the first time, underlining our ability to deliver kit quickly to where it is needed." Jackal 2 will have a 6.7-litre engine giving it a top speed of 80 miles per hour (129km/h) on roads and 55mph (89km/h) cross-country. Supacat, based at Dunkswell, Devon, will be the prime contractor and will be responsible for design, development, prototyping, integration and overall programme management. Babcock will be responsible for detailed production planning, purchasing and manufacture at their Devonport dockyard facility. Supacat Managing Director Nick Ames said: "This alliance will help to ensure that our Armed Forces receive the best possible equipment within the shortest possible timescale. The enhanced Jackal 2 and Coyote Tactical Support Vehicle (Light) will increase troops' protection and their operational effectiveness. We are extremely pleased that we can help in this way." Babcock's Equipment Solutions Managing Director Roger Gillespie added: "We have previously worked closely with Supacat in delivering more than 200 Jackals to the MOD and this contract will further demonstrate that this method of design, production and delivery is the best for MOD's needs." Jackal 2 and Coyote are scheduled to be delivered to the MOD from summer 2009 onwards. The vehicles are expected to support operations in Afghanistan from the autumn.
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