|Force Protection Ocelot LPPV|
|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|Designer||Ricardo plc / Force Protection Europe|
|Manufacturer||Force Protection Europe|
|Unit cost||£923k (~US$1.5m)|
|Weight||7,500 kg (7.4 long tons)|
|Length||5.32 m (17 ft 5 in)|
|Width||2.1 m (6 ft 11 in)|
|Height||2.35 m (7 ft 9 in)|
|Speed||132 km/h (82 mph)|
The Force Protection Ocelot is a British armoured vehicle that is scheduled to replace the United Kingdom's Snatch Land Rover with British forces. It will receive the service name Foxhound, in line with the names given to other wheeled armored vehicles in current British use, such as Mastiff and Ridgeback, which are based on the Cougar. This is not to be confused with the BAE Systems Australia Foxhound, a modified Short Brothers S600. The goal in replacing the Snatch Land Rover was to improve protection of personnel against improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Designed by Force Protection Europe and the automotive engineering company Ricardo, the Ocelot is intended for use as a light protected patrol vehicle (LPPV) with specialised protection against roadside bombs and improvised explosive devices (IED)s. It can weigh up to 7,500 kilograms (16,500 lb) when loaded. This is smaller than most Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles, but larger than the Humvee replacement vehicles being developed through the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program.
Powered by a Steyr M16-Monoblock Diesel engine (6-cylinder, 160 kW), connected to a ZF 6HP28X 6-speed automatic gearbox, it reaches a speed of 50 mph (80 km/h) in 19.75 seconds, and has a maximum speed of 82 mph (132 km/h). Its wheels function independently, so the vehicle's other wheels should continue to work if one is blown off. It is claimed that the engine can be removed and replaced in 30 minutes.
The design is modular, and all of the components can be removed easily. The protective pod where up to six people can sit is interchangeable to allow easy modification according to the vehicle's role. For example, it can perform as an ambulance, supply vehicle, or jeep. Parts can also be easily replaced for minimum service time. Through terrain that would not be accessible to other civilian vehicles, such as jungle, deep mud, or ruts. Its cabin is made of advanced composite materials. It is claimed that such composite materials can provide protection like metal armor with a composite spall liner, but at a lighter weight, saving fuel. Critical parts such as the crew compartment, engine, fuel tank and transmission are contained within the V-shaped armored ‘spine’ that deflects potential blast away from the pod, thus protecting the occupants and key components.
The Ocelot will be the first British military vehicle to meet the MoD’s recent Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA) requirements. The GVA requirements are intended to create a single, standard digital electronic and electrical architecture for UK vehicles.
Historically, the development of mine-resistant vehicles can be described in terms of four generations.
- The first efforts occurred during World War II in the Africa campaign. Pilot trucks were sent out with sandbags on their floors in an attempt to prevent secondary fragments and to keep acceleration to a minimum by increasing the weight of the vehicle.
- The increase of mine use caused the advance of retrofitting in the next generation. This second generation used angled blast deflectors that vented the blast away and provided more protection from fragments.
- The third generation saw the advance of V-shaped hulls in an attempt to better protect soldiers from blast waves. It was shown that a V-shaped hull protects better than a flat-bottomed hull because it directs a blast wave to flow around the vehicle instead of imparting most of the blast energy directly to the vehicle.
- The fourth generation brought about what were called monocoque hulls. They were designed by Konschel and the front and back wheel assemblies were attached by shear bolts. The wheels were also extended out from under the cab. The purpose of this design was so that if a wheel detonated a mine, the wheel would simply shear off and protect both the drive train and the passengers in the vehicle.
Force Protection Industries in America and Europe has developed several mine-resistant vehicles with V-shaped hulls since 2000, including the Buffalo and the Cougar (specific designs were implemented by the British military as the Mastiff, Ridgeback, and Wolfhound, and by the Iraqi military as the Badger ILAV). These have demonstrated improved protection of soldiers exposed to blast threats. Both the Buffalo and the Cougar are large and heavy. Force Protection developed the Ocelot to meet the need for a smaller, lighter, more versatile vehicle that could still provide protection against blasts.
The Ocelot was first shown in September 2009 by Force Protection Europe at the Defence Systems and Equipment International exhibition in London. Two units were purchased by the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) in April 2010 for further testing.
On 22 September 2010, the MoD announced that the Ocelot would replace the Snatch Land Rover, the previous LPPV, which has received criticism for its lack of protection against roadside bombs. The MoD has renamed the vehicle Foxhound in line with the "dog" names given to other wheeled armoured vehicles in British use, such as Mastiff and Ridgeback. The original order was for 300 vehicles at a cost of £270m, with another 25 ordered in 2012 at a cost of £30m.
On the 17 June 2012 it was announced by the MoD that the Foxhound had been delivered to Afghanistan and was undergoing final tests and evaluation before being deployed on operations.
The South African Casspir was the original V-shape hull personnel carrier.
Force Protection is one of several producers for MRAP vehicles. Others include
- Thales Australia with vehicles like the Bushmaster and the Hawkei;
- BAE Systems with vehicles like the Caiman;
- Navistar International, with vehicles like the MaxxPro;
- Supacat with vehicles like the Supacat Protected Vehicle 400 series (SPV400).
- "The Referendum on Separation for Scotland: How would Separation affect jobs in the Scottish defence industry? - Scottish Affairs Committee". UK Parliament. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- "Force Protection Europe Rolls Out Ocelot Vehicle at DSEI" (Press release). Force Protection, Inc. 8 September 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
- "Ocelot Revealed as Snatch Land Rover replacement". bbc.co.uk. 22 September 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
- Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) Vehicles: Background and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service, 2010
- Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV): Background and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service report, 2011
- Ocelot Mine protected wheeled armoured vehicle: Army Recognition
- Applications Gallery: Steyr.Motors.com
- British Ministry of Defence article, November, 2010
- Hogg, P.J. Composites in Armor. Science 314(5802):1100-1101, 17 November 2006
- Tanknut article: The British Army Ocelot AKA Foxhound LPPV, March 2011
- The UK MOD Generic Vehicle Architecture: A Compelling Case for Interoperable Open Architecture. Real-Time Innovations Report, September 2011
- Ramasamy, A. Hill, AM. Hepper, AE. Bull, AMJ. Clasper, Jc. Blast Mines: Physics, Injury Mechanisms, and Vehicle Protection. JR Army Med Corps 155(4): 258-264. 2009
- "Force Protection Announces Sale of Two Ocelot Vehicles to United Kingdom Ministry of Defence" (Press release). Force Protection, Inc. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
- "MoD signs deal to replace Snatch vehicle with Foxhound". BBC News. BBC. 30 November 2010.
- "Foxhound arrives in Afghanistan". MoD. 17 June 2012.
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