Devon

Devon firm in £45m Jackal deal with Ministry of Defence

Devon defence firm Supacat has won a £45m Ministry of Defence contract to supply more than 140 Jackal military vehicles to troops in Afghanistan.

Supacat's Jackal 2a is built at Plymouth's Devonport Dockyard in partnership with Babcock.

It will bring the total number of Jackal vehicles in service with the UK armed forces to more than 400.

The Jackal is designed to travel at speed across rough terrain and deflect blasts from mines away from occupants.

Blast protection

It was first deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 as an alternative to the Snatch Land Rover which has been criticised for not offering enough protection from improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

However, there have been a number of fatalities involving the Jackal, including the death of three soldiers from the Parachute Regiment who were killed in August 2009 when their vehicle was hit by an explosion and small arms fire.

The Jackal now has a new cab design with mine blast protection.

Roger Gillespie, equipment solutions managing director at Babcock, said: "The Jackal vehicle has been a resounding success and these additional Jackal 2a's will further enhance the operational capabilities of our troops in theatre."

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