Babcock and Supacat have launched production of 70 High Mobility Transporter (HMT) Jackal 3s for the British Army.
An innovative manufacturing facility at Babcock’s Devonport site has been specially developed for this purpose and will produce 62 of the vehicles.
The remaining eight will be built at Supacat’s manufacturing facilities in Dunkeswell, with production of the new vehicles planned to be completed by the summer of 2024.
The project is one of the first contracts to deliver on the UK’s Land Industrial Strategy. Close working relationships between Babcock, Supacat the British Army and the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD), Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) team have ensured that the operational and safety requirements of the vehicle are fully met.
In tribute to both the British Army and the Royal Navy, the new South West production facility has been named ‘The Raglan Building’ in recognition of the nearby Raglan Barracks which supported British soldiers on their way to overseas operations in the 1800s.
The facility is future-proofed and is ready for subsequent build programmes. Transformational innovation and technology have been optimized throughout the production line and includes the use of bespoke ‘Pulse’ software which maximizes efficiency during vehicle assembly.
It is anticipated that the advantages of being located in the South Devon Freeport will benefit the future through-put of this production facility for years to come.
The Jackal 3 benefits from over a decade of development by Supacat for the UK and overseas customers since the last iteration of Jackal was delivered to the British Army. It has a number of enhancements to support operational requirements, including improved protection for the crew and an increased gross vehicle mass for greater load carrying.
The Jackal 2 was reportedly a class-leader off-road, however the new suspension in the Jackal 3 will deliver even better off-road performance. Whilst being procured as a 4×4 vehicle, the Jackal 3 can be readily transformed into a 6-wheel drive vehicle which more than doubles its load carrying capacity.
Major General Darren Crook CBE, Director for the Land Equipment Operating Centre at DE&S, said; “This Supacat and Babcock collaboration will deliver modern fighting vehicles for the British Armed Forces and our allies, whilst developing and maintaining key land defense engineering skills in a much valued part of the South West of England.”
David Lockwood, CEO Babcock, said; “At this time of global instability, the significance to the British Army of delivering the HMT Jackal 3 vehicle should not be understated. These Jackals will help keep the UK safe, whilst our technologically advanced production facility will support social value and economic prosperity in the region for years to come.”
Nick Ames, CEO Supacat, said; “As an SME based in South West England, it is an enormous privilege to have our product selected yet again by the British Army. The Jackal 3 is the product of 25 years of specific development and 45 years of corporate development.”