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UK MoD Announces Selection of New Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV)

Continuing its trend of vehicle acquisition optimized for ongoing tactical combat operations, the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced its “preferred bidder” for its new generation of Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV) program.

On Sept. 22, 2010, the MoD announced that the “Ocelot,” from Force Protection Europe, would be the subject of contract negotiations to provide an initial order of LPPVs “through the Urgent Operational Requirements process.”

The decision means that the first Ocelot vehicles are expected to be available to troops for training in 2011, while “The total number will be subject to negotiation and announced in due course.”

“By designing from a clean sheet we have adopted a novel design which is a complete departure from the standard practice of basing mine resistant vehicles on a standard chassis design,” said David Hind, Managing Director of Force Protection Europe. “We are confident that the design of Ocelot means it not only meets today’s blast resistance requirements but those expected in the future. Ocelot exceeds the required mine protection level set for the UK MoD Light Protected Patrol Vehicle, while still meeting the targets for mobility, payload, size and gross vehicle weight.”

As described in the MoD announcement, “The LPPV has been designed to provide unprecedented levels of blast protection for a vehicle of its size, and will be able to carry a crew of up to six people. It will add to the wide array of protected vehicles already being used on operations in Afghanistan, including Mastiff and Ridgeback.”

Ocelot was first unveiled just over a year ago at the Defense Systems and Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition in London by Force Protection Europe, Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Force Protection Industries, Inc.

Foxhound LPPV

A Foxhound Light Protection Protected Vehicle is pictured at Camp Bastion, Helmand, Afghanistan. British MoD photo by Sgt. Andy Reddy RLC

At the time of the unveiling, the development team, which included Force Protection Europe and Ricardo plc, a UK based automotive engineering company, highlighted Ocelot as “a new class of light protected patrol vehicle.”

“By designing from a clean sheet we have adopted a novel design which is a complete departure from the standard practice of basing mine resistant vehicles on a standard chassis design,” said David Hind, Managing Director of Force Protection Europe. “We are confident that the design of Ocelot means it not only meets today’s blast resistance requirements but those expected in the future. Ocelot exceeds the required mine protection level set for the UK MoD Light Protected Patrol Vehicle, while still meeting the targets for mobility, payload, size and gross vehicle weight.”

He added, “The expertise of Ricardo in designing and optimizing vehicles and Force Protection’s expertise in survivability solutions has resulted in what we believe will be the premier mine resistant vehicle needed to protect troops in theaters such as Afghanistan. Ocelot’s independent suspension system offers excellent mobility over rough terrain. ”

The 7 1/2 ton Ocelot, measuring 17 feet long, 8 feet high and 7 feet wide, can be transported in a C-130 or under a CH-47 Chinook. The design features a core automotive armored spine, called a “skateboard,” with composite “special-to-role” pods that can be interchanged to optimize the vehicle for missions ranging from patrol to fire support to protected logistics vehicle as required.

Highlighting the Ocelot selection, U.K. Minister for Defense Equipment, Support and Technology Peter Luff, observed, “Small, agile but highly protected, the LPPV is at the forefront of technology. It will offer troops unprecedented levels of blast protection for such a light vehicle, enabling them to carry out a wide range of tasks, whilst moving with ease through narrow alleyways or crossing bridges. It will be a valuable addition to the vehicles already available to commanders in Afghanistan, and demonstrates the government’s commitment to providing our troops with the very best equipment on the front line. I’m delighted to announce that negotiations can now begin to get these vehicles out to theater as soon as possible.”

By

Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-317">

    I winder if it will have CROWS mounted on top of it to protect the troops?

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-318">
    Chuck Oldham (Editor)

    There’s a hatch in the troop compartment that’s presumably strengthened to take some sort of weapons mounting, but I don’t know if CROWS would be feasible. It’s an interesting question, though, something to look into.

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-319">

    Given how many lives its saved in Middle East, they would be crazy to ignore it

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-320">
    Chuck Oldham (Editor)

    I agree. I was going to say, “but it’s not much bigger than a Humvee.” Funny how events have conditioned many of us to think of a 7 1/2 ton vehicle as “small.”

    li class="comment byuser comment-author-chuck-oldham even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-369">
    Chuck Oldham (Editor)

    Ann,

    Ocelot was at the AUSA show, and we were told that it can mount a remote weapons station on the “roof” but that when it is demonstrated to the Australian DoD, that RWS will NOT be the CROWS but another system.