SC Group is a British multi-faceted engineering company which prior to a re-brand in September 2015 was known as Supacat Limited. Supacat was established in 1981 and based at Dunkeswell Aerodrome in England. SC Group now comprises four companies: Supacat, SC Innovation, Proteum and Blackhill Engineering.
SC Group initially specialised in the design and development of military and civil high mobility vehicles. Throughout the last decade the company expanded its portfolio considerably to encompass developing equipment for operation in harsh environments in sectors including marine, renewables, mineral exploration, oil & gas and nuclear power. During 2014, the then Supacat made a series of acquisitions in the commercial marine sector leading to the creation of the now Proteum based in Hamble, UK. At the end of 2014 Exeter-based heavy fabrication specialist, Blackhill Engineering, was acquired.
Supacat Limited rebranded to SC Group on 10 September 2015. SC Group is the trading brand of SC Group - Global Limited. The current Chief Executive is Nick Ames who joined the company in 2003. Nick Jones, original co-founder of Supacat, remains a Director of SC Group.
The Supacat brand is retained by SC Group for the group's core defence business. Supacat develops and supports high mobility military vehicles and provides specialist engineering services for defence customers, and recently established itself in Australia.
Supacat Pty Ltd was established in 2011 with an office in Victoria, Australia. In March 2012 Supacat Pty Ltd acquired Australian engineering design services company Unique Solutions Providers for an undisclosed amount. Supacat managing director Nick Ames said at the time: "The acquisition is the first in Supacat’s 30-year history and supports our strategy to access new regional markets and new industry sectors. It enables us to improve support for our vehicle fleets in service with the Australian Defence Force and it complements Supacat’s diversification into the oil & gas and renewable energy sectors." Supacat Australia was named on 4 September 2015 by Rheinmetall Defence as the first Australian company to be part of its Land 400 Phase 2 Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability team for which the company will offer Boxer. Supacat is also a member of Rheinmetall's Challenger 2 Life Extension Project (C2 LEP) team.
All Terrain Mobility Platform
The All Terrain Mobility Platform (ATMP) is a 6x6 marginal terrain vehicle now in its fourth generation. Around 200 ATMPs have been supplied to mainly military users since 1982, these including the armed forces of Canada, Malaysia, Mexico and the UK.
High Mobility Transporter
The High Mobility Transporter (HMT) vehicle platform is produced in three variants the HMT 400 (4x4), the HMT 600 (6x6) and the HMT Extenda (configurable between 4x4 and 6x6). A HMT 800 (8x8) variant is also available. The HMT was designed in mid-1999 by HMT Supacat Limited later renamed to HMT Vehicles Limited. In 2004, Lockheed Martin entered into a licence agreement with HMT Vehicles Ltd to manufacture and sell the HMT in North America. In 2006, Lockheed Martin (UK) acquired HMT Vehicles Ltd who licensed the design back to Supacat.
The HMT 400, the first of the platform to enter service, was developed for the United Kingdom Special Forces procured under Project Minacity to replace the Land Rover 110 Desert Patrol Vehicle. A contract was awarded in 2001 for 65 vehicles that entered service in 2003-2004 in Afghanistan following tenders in the late 1990s. In 2004, the U.S. Army Delta Force purchased 47 similarly configured vehicles designated Marauders which were delivered in 2004-2005.
In 2006, Danish Army Hunter Corps ordered 15 HMT Extenda vehicles. In 2007, the Australian Army Special Air Service Regiment ordered 31 HMT Extenda vehicles known as Nary designated as the Special Operations Vehicle-Special Reconnaissance (SOV-SR) which due to technical problems did not enter service until 2011.
In 2014, the Australian Army 2nd Commando Regiment ordered 89 HMT Extenda MK2 vehicles known as the Special Operations Vehicle-Commando (SOV-Cdo) that will be reconfigurable in four configurations. In 2015, the Norwegian Army Forsvarets Spesialkommando ordered an undisclosed number of HMT Extenda vehicles to be delivered from 2017 to 2019. In 2016, the New Zealand Special Air Service ordered an undisclosed number of HMT Extenda vehicles designated as the Special Operations Vehicles – Mobility Heavy (SOV-MH) to be delivered from late 2017.
The British Army has also developed specialist variants of the HMT. In August 2003, it was announced that a Lockheed Martin UK-led team had been selected by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) as preferred supplier for Project Soothsayer, the next-generation battlefield electronic warfare system for the British Army and Royal Marines. An HMT 600 platform was selected as the base platform and 35 chassis were manufactured. Soothsayer was cancelled in mid-2009 and these chassis are currently surplus to requirement. In August 2003, the UK Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) awarded a GBP6 million contract to then INSYS (now Lockheed Martin UK) to design, build and test a system demonstrator of the Lightweight Mobile Artillery System Rocket (LIMAWS(R)) for the British Army. The system was expected to enter service in 2007 with 24 6x4 vehicles based on the HMT 600 required for the project. It was confirmed in May 2008 that the LIMAWS(R) project had been cancelled. The HMT 800 was the base for the BAE Systems Land Systems portee version of its M777 155mm lightweight howitzer, one of two candidates for the UK MoD's Lightweight Mobile Artillery Weapon System Gun (LIMAWS(G)) project. It was confirmed in September 2007 that LIMAWS(G) had been cancelled. Supacat's HMT 600 is the chosen ground station platform for the UK MoD's Watchkeeper unmanned air vehicle (UAV) project.
- Australia: 31 (HMT Extenda MK1) Special Operations Vehicle-Special Reconnaissance (SOV-SR) known as Nary used by the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR). 89 (HMT Extenda MK2) Special Operations Vehicle-Commando (SOV-Cdo) on order for the 2nd Commando Regiment (2 Cdo Regt), including several SOV-Logistics variants for use by SASR and 2 Cdo Regt.
- Denmark: 15 HMT Extenda (MK1) used by Jaeger Corps (Danish: Jægerkorpset).
- New Zealand: HMT Extenda (MK2) on order $28m contract for New Zealand Special Air Service undisclosed number.
- Norway: HMT Extenda (MK2) on order £23m contract for Forsvarets Spesialkommando undisclosed number.
- United Kingdom: >573 (HMT 4x4, inc. 72 HMT 400) consisting of 65 (from 2003) + 7 (2006) Minacity, 242 Jackal 1 (2007-2009), 119 Jackal 2 (2009-2010) and >140 Jackal 2a (2010). Also delivered were 76 (HMT 6x6) TSV-L Coyote (2009-2010) and 35 HMT 600 (6x6) Soothsayer platforms, most of which are being re-roled. UK MoD to retain 400 Jackal and 71 Coyote post-Afghanistan.
- United States: 47 HMT 400 used by 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta designated Marauders.
- Canada: A bid was submitted by Supacat to the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command to replace their High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). In 2010, the Project was cancelled, after the HMT was the only vehicle that was bid, and it was determined that it did not meet all of CANSOFCOM requirements.
Supacat Protected Vehicle 400
Light Armoured Multipurpose Vehicle
Light Reconnaissance Vehicle 400
The Light Reconnaissance Vehicle 400 (LRV 400) MK2 is an open lightweight 4x4 vehicle based on the Land Rover Discovery platform which can be transported internally in a CH-47 Chinook shown at DSEi 2015. A 6x6 variant has also been designed similar to the HMT Extenda. Supacat is offering the LRV 400 for the Dutch Army Defence-wide Wheeled Vehicle Replacement Programme (DVOW).
Bombardier Lynx Snowmobile
The Royal Marines 3 Commando Brigade's Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron (SRS) Oversnow Reconnaissance Vehicle (ORV) is Bombardier Lynx snowmobile which has been modified for military use by Supacat.
SC Innovation provides engineering solutions to support all SC Group non-defence business. SC Innovation incorporates specialist vehicle work with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and the emergency services together with products and services for sectors such as oil & gas, marine, renewable energy and nuclear. Products include:
- The lifeboat Launch and Recovery System (L&RS) was developed specifically for the RNLI and in response to a requirement for an up-to-date and highly mobile transport system for a new class of lifeboat. The L&RS design incorporates several unique features that include a permanent, software controlled, Four-Track-Drive system to provide mobility in all beach conditions. In addition, the cradle that carries the boat rotates through 360 degrees to enable ‘Bow First’ launch and recovery.
- The Specialist Utility Vehicle 600 (SUV 600) is a production standard Land Rover Discovery 4x4 that is converted to 6x6 configuration for use in the emergency services and wider utility sectors.
- The Protected Transit Vehicle (PTV) was developed specifically for use in the oil & gas sector. It provides a fully ATEX Zone 2 compliant passenger and cargo transport capability tailored for use in potentially hazardous explosive and toxic environments.
- The Specialist Multi-purpose Vessel 24 (SMV 24) has been designed to provide a flexible, multi-role, high performance solution for conducting operations in support of the offshore and other maritime engineering sectors.
- SC Innovation is a team member of a Fred Olsen led consortium developing a Technology Strategy Board (TSB) supported state of the art wave energy device.
Proteum is the marine brand within SC Group and was formed following the acquisition of MDS Marine and Bukh Diesel UK.
Proteum represents and distributes a portfolio of marine products and services across the UK and Ireland, these including Bukh, Marine Diesel Sweden, OXE Diesel and Konrad propulsion systems. The company has two UK offices, these in Poole and Hamble.
At the DSEI 2015 defence and security exhibition held in London, 15–18 September, OXE Diesel launched what the company claims to be the first viable high power NATO single fuel policy compliant diesel outboard engine for military users. According to the company, the 200 hp outboard has the highest power density of any marine diesel and incorporates a self-contained belt propulsor unit (S-BPU) to eliminate bevel gears and transfer shafts. In addition, the unit uses a conventional automotive engine block adapted for marine use, and unlike most outboards is mounted horizontally to improve reliability and reduce maintenance.
Blackhill Engineering Services
Blackhill Engineering Services is a heavy fabrication and machining specialist. Supacat Limited acquired Blackhill in late 2014.
Blackhill Engineering Services Ltd. has existed in various forms since the 1950s; originally its main role was to provide an engineering centre for English China Clays (Quarries Division), which looked after capital and revenue repairs, modifications, projects and servicing, for sites all over the United Kingdom and Channel Islands. Early in 1995 the company became privately owned.
Production of SC Group's SC Innovation's Lifeboat Launch and Recovery System (L&RS) is now undertaken by Blackhill Engineering.
In October 2015 Blackhill Engineering issued a press release informing it had been contracted by Supacat, also part of SC Group, to manufacture replacement chassis frames for the Supacat Jackal vehicle.
Television and film appearances
- Brazil (1985; Supacat ATMP)
- Top Gear (Supacat Jackal)
- Top Gear Apocalypse (Supacat Jackal; Top Gear: Apocalypse)
- "Supacat acquires Blackhill Engineering". regensw. 9 December 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "SC Group About Us". SC Group. 9 September 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "SC Group Meet The Team". SC Group. 9 September 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "Supacat Pty Ltd". Supacat. 13 October 2011. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
- "Supacat acquires Unique Solutions Providers". South West News. 9 March 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "Supacat Selected by Rheinmetall for LAND 400 Bid". Supacat (Press release). 4 September 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- "Supacat develops new variants of HMT family to optimise Jackal and Coyote in Core and meet new requirements". Supacat (Press release). 31 August 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- "ATMP". Supacat. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- "High Mobility Transporter". Supacat. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "Lockheed Martin Enters North American Military Truck Market". PR Newswire. New York. 16 September 2004.
- "Lockheed Martin UK Announces Completion of HMT Vehicles Limited Acquisition". PR Newswire. New York. 23 January 2006.
- Neville, Leigh (2011). Special Operations Patrol Vehicles : Afghanistan and Iraq. New Vanguard. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 9781849081870.
- "Briefing: Wheels of the elite". Jane's Defence Weekly (Volume 51 (20)). 9 April 2014.
- IHS Janes Flyer International Defence Review, November 2015, Vol 47, page 12
- "Supacat HMT high mobility transporter and variants". IHS Jane's. 11 April 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- Welch, Dylan (30 December 2010). "Army had concerns over Supacat buy". The Age. Melbourne: Fairfax Media. ISSN 0312-6307.
- "Supacat to deliver 89 Special Operations Vehicles – Commando under $105m contract for JP2097 Ph 1B (REDFIN) Program". Supacat (Press release). 19 August 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "Supacat signs £23m contract for Norwegian High Mobility Vehicles". Supacat (Press release). 6 May 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "Supacat to deliver Special Operations Vehicles – Mobility Heavy (SOV-MH) to New Zealand". Supacat (Press release). 5 September 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee (6 September 2016). "New vehicles for NZ Special Forces". The official website of the New Zealand government (Press release). Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Slocombe, Geoff (November 2014). "Project Redfin Phase 1B - Special Forces Operations Vehicles Ordered". Asia Pacific Defence Reporter. 40 (9): 14–15. ISSN 1446-6880.
- "Special Operations Vehicles (Special Reconnaissance and Quick Reaction vehicles) - Notice of Proposed Procurement". Canadian American Strategic Review. August 2008. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016.
- Pugliese, David (26 November 2014). "Special Ops: Wishlist of new gear". Esprit de Corps. Archived from the original on 20 September 2016.
- "SPV 400". Supacat. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- "Production Standard Vehicle achieves 96% reliability". Supacat (Press release). 11 June 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- "Supacat develops new variants of HMT family to optimise Jackal and Coyote in Core and meet new requirements". Supacat (Press release). 10 February 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- "Supacat's LRV400 Mk 2 light reconnaissance vehicle makes Eurosatory debut". Supacat (Press release). 13 June 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- "Supacat unveils LRV 400 `Mk2` light reconnaissance vehicle at DSEi". Supacat (Press release). 11 September 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- "LRV 400". Supacat. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- "Supacat teams with Rheinmetall to offer Dutch-built vehicles for Defence-wide Wheeled Vehicle Replacement Programme (DVOW) 12kN AASLT and 12kN". Supacat (Press release). 9 March 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
- "SC Innovation-Global". SC Innovation-Global. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
- "Launch and Recovery System (L&RS)". SC Innovation. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- "SUV 600". SC Innovation. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- "PTV". SC Innovation. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- "SMV 24". SC Innovation. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- "SC Innovation-Global". SC Group Proteum. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
- "Supacat Pounces on MDS Marine". World Maritime News. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "Proteum". SC Group. 9 September 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "Jackals at Blackhill Engineering". SC Group. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
- "Big is beautiful for Blackhill Engineering". Francis Clark. 9 March 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "Brazil - Supacat ATMP". www.imcdb.org. 1985. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
- "Jackal". www.imcdb.org. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
- "Top Gear". www.imcdb.org. 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
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