UK MoD Awards Contract to Demonstrate Electric-Drive Jackal Vehicles

The contract award is part of the Protected Mobility Engineering & Technical Support (PMETS) programme which is being led by NP Aerospace as the Engineering Authority for the vehicle fleet. General Dynamics Land Systems–UK and Supacat are the partner vehicle OEMs, and Magtec is the electric drive and battery technology partner.

Developed by Magtec in the UK, the hybrid electric e-drive solution for Jackal and Foxhound is intended to deliver multiple technical and operational enhancements, including (but not limited to);

  • Silent mobility;
  • Enhanced Silent Watch capabilities;
  • Off-board electrical power;
  • Increased onboard power for the insertion of the latest technologies.

This is the first time that this type of technology system has been applied to vehicles covered under the PMETS programme. The production of demonstrator vehicles will enable the MoD to analyse the operational impact of new technical capabilities.

David Petheram, Chief Operating Officer, NP Aerospace, said: “The Protected Mobility Engineering & Technical Support (PMETS) programme delivers safety, efficiency and innovation activities across a variety of vehicle platforms, via a collaborative approach. The hybrid electric drive project is a significant development that will further extend the technical capabilities of the vehicles and is an important advancement in the incorporation of new technology. It will provide a greater understanding of what hybrid technology could achieve, whilst also looking to the future in terms of integrating additional sophisticated electronics across the PMETS vehicle fleet.”

Carew Wilks, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics Land Systems–UK, said: “As technology develops to meet the future operating needs of the British Army, the demand for onboard power only increases, and electrification of land vehicles offers an innovative solution.  Foxhound, the British Army light infantry vehicle of choice, already has an architecture that enables electrification and is a natural choice for this demonstrator.  We look forward to demonstrating our e-drive Foxhound in the coming months.”

Nick Ames, SC Group-Global CEO, said: Following the work we have done with Exeter University on the All-Terrain Military Platform (ATMP) to give it electric drive and associated control, this piece of work is the natural follow on for us. We have the skills and knowledge to work with our project partners in making the well-respected Jackal vehicle “hybrid drive” and thereby offer enhanced silent watch, stealth operation and improved power export capabilities for soldiers and their equipment. This is a very exciting project and clearly shows the British Army moving towards a non-hydrocarbon future as signalled by Chief of the General Staff at DSEI in 2019. This fits perfectly with our current and future strategy.”

Defence Minister Jeremy Quin, said:

“It is vital our armoured vehicles are equipped with the latest technology so we can maintain our battle-winning edge.

“These tests will ensure our Armed Forces have the latest, safest and most efficient technology, while continuing to support prosperity across the UK. They represent a potential opportunity to improve our vehicles sustainability and military effectiveness.

Alongside delivering multiple technical and operational enhancements, the introduction of hybrid technology will ultimately reduce the Army’s reliance on fossil fuels – a step towards the Government’s 2050 net zero goal.

Adopting greener technology into the MOD’s equipment fleet is part of the department’s strategy to reduce its contributions to carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Measures like this will be reflected in the department’s ongoing Climate Change and Sustainability Review, led by Lt Gen Richard Nugee.

Lt General Richard Nugee said:

“It is great to see the Army testing electric vehicles that will benefit not only our world-class personnel, but also our planet. This goes to show how seriously we are incorporating sustainability into our operations, while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of military innovation.”

The review will focus on a range of initiatives from the MOD’s NZ50 strategy to setting the right baseline for defence’s emissions and carbon footprint, with findings set to be published in December 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew Gilligan, Managing Director, Magtec, said: “Magtec is a UK leader in the design and manufacture of electric vehicle drive systems and is proud to be supporting the British Army in the development of new technology to protect British troops when they are on the move. Magtec has a strong track record in delivering drive systems for the most demanding applications. We are creating high-quality engineering jobs in the North of England and strengthening the UK’s position at the forefront of the global transport sector.”

Supacat and Soucy team to offer world leading composite rubber tracks for UK armoured fleet upgrades

21 May 2020, Leading high mobility military vehicle developer, Supacat, with operations in Devon, UK, and Melbourne, Australia, signed a Teaming Agreement in March 2020 with Soucy International Inc., the Quebec, Canada, based global leader in Composite Rubber Tracks (CRT) for defence equipment. The teaming offers Soucy’s market leading, high performance Composite Rubber Track systems to meet the requirements of the UK armed forces, and others, to upgrade their new and legacy armoured fleets from Steel Track to Composite Rubber Tracks.

The integration and support for Soucy tracks could be provided by Supacat, an established prime contractor to both the UK and Australian MoDs, thus securing high value jobs within local supply chains. Supacat’s OEM engineering capability and experienced field support teams would ensure the long-term sustainment of vehicles fitted with Composite Rubber Tracks and a commitment to support troops in peacetime and during operations.

Soucy has been in the vanguard of Composite Rubber Track development to not only match but surpass the performance of steel track systems in all measurable areas, from mobility and traction to cost per Km. Soucy provides defence tracks up to a GVW of 50mT and continues developing compounds for higher GVW. Soucy tracks are approved by military forces worldwide and it has supplied Composite Rubber Tracks for platforms such as M113, Warthog, Bronco, BVS10, BAE Systems MPF, CV90 and Redback, with many more in development.

The value of the UK armed forces’ requirement is estimated at £500m in track sales over 25 years but deliver potential savings to the UK MoD of £330m from just four platform configurations transitioned to Composite Rubber Tracks, based on current track mileage allocations.

For the UK MoD, the Soucy – Supacat teaming enables it to acquire global market leading technology through an innovation led British SME and level up employment into South West England; and post Brexit, to further the UK – Canada trade partnership in helping Soucy expand its presence in the UK to create new job opportunities. Other armed forces in Europe are planning upgrades but acceptance onto some of the British Army’s larger fleet is key to the UK-Canada team.

Composite Rubber Tracks reduce the noise and vibration levels generated by steel that impact the health of both vehicle system and user. They significantly improve crew safety, durability and system life while lowering fuel and life cycle costs. Rubber tracks also benefit programmes with weight restrictions, such as the Mobile Fires Platform (MFP).

Nick Ames, CEO of Supacat parent SC Group said, “We are delighted to be teamed with the world leading rubber track manufacturer, Soucy. We have had experience with tracks over the years for both military and civil applications, most notably the RNLI Launch and Recovery System. This teaming takes our exposure to rubber tracks to a new level and we look forward to working with Soucy on bringing the undeniable benefits of rubber tracks to the relevant UK and Australian vehicle fleets in the coming months and years ensuring the economic benefits are retained in both countries.”

Normand Lalonde said, “This teaming agreement between Soucy and Supacat is directly linked to the global positioning strategy of Soucy. It will allow us to enhance our value proposition offer of CRT to the UK MOD and to the different European and Australian armies while supporting local employment. It will allow the Armies to capitalize greatly on the benefits brought by the CRT helping them to increase their operational capabilities. Soucy is very honored to work with Supacat, both companies have the same values.”

Media Contacts:
Soucy:
Angeline Heckel-Elies, Soucy Defense Division, +1 (819) 474 4522, [email protected]
Supacat:
Nicky Yeoman, SC Group, +44 (0)7568 106904 [email protected]
Celia Turner, CTPR, +44 (0)7703 344425 [email protected]

About CRT Tracks
• Increased durability over conventional steel tracks.
• Reduced vibration (up to 70%), noise (up to 13dB), thermal signature, braking distance, vehicle weight (up to 50%) and fuel consumption (up to 30-35%).
• Reduced vehicle crew fatigue.
• Significant reduction in life cycle costs and virtually maintenance free.
• Elimination of damage to infrastructure.

About Soucy
Soucy has been leading the Rubber Track charge for over 50 years – starting from snowmobile to agricultural systems, and over the past 26 years for defence applications. Soucy’s expertise and knowledge of rubber track applications lies in compounding and track construction. Managing the limitations of Rubber, GVW and heat generation are the key elements in meeting customer requirements which can exceed steel track systems. This balance is critical in design and Soucy is the global leader in providing Composite Rubber Tracks for defence platforms. www.soucy-defense.com

About Supacat
Supacat is the world’s leading specialist in the design and development of high mobility defence vehicles with over 1000 specialist, battle-proven vehicles delivered into service globally. Part of SC Group, it is an innovative engineering and design company providing global, defence focussed products and services with offices in the UK and Australia. Its agility and speed enable Supacat to provide and fully support high performance solutions in short timescales. The UK Ministry of Defence’s procurement of Jackal and Coyote vehicles demonstrates the regard in which Supacat’s capabilities and products are held. www.supacat.com

Three Supacat HMT Jackals featured in Award Winning Photograph

Running since 1975, the Army Film and Photographic Competition showcases the very best photographic and cinematography by a wide variety of talented individuals.

This is the first year outside suppliers and contractors were invited to attend the award ceremony, held at the National Army Museum. Supacat part of SC Group-Global were one of the privileged few to be amongst the invitees.

Nicky Yeoman, Head of Marketing and Sales Operation at SC Group-Global and Georgie Burridge Spares Manager represented Supacat. Nicky said: “It was an honour to be invited to represent Supacat at such a prestigious ceremony. It is evident that we have many talented photographic professionals in the Army, who are bringing the complex reality of Army life to LIFE.

Both Georgie and I felt we were spending the evening amongst many future rising stars. These professionals will become the story tellers of the future but instead of using words, they will be using a camera lens. Looking forward to following their journeys”

The beauty of these awards ensures that talented men and women within the armed forces are not just being recognised for their creative eye, but recognised as historians. These professionals are skillfully capturing moments which would otherwise go unrecognised; as they capture day-to-day operations, it means these moments can be shared with future generations – so, ‘never forgotten!’

Supacat are delighted that Corporal Ben Beale Royal Logistic Corps was not just nominated but went on to WIN the Professional Category Story. The ‘Who’s in There?’ story documents the troops on exercise in Norway. The camera showcases their tenacity and ingenuity by hiding not just themselves, but three Supacat HMT Jackals in a barn, hidden completely out of sight from the enemy.

Ben Beale explained: “While we were in Norway, we went to find the Light Dragoons Light Cavalry.  The LD’s were in their light reconnaissance role and using a civilian barn as a hide out.  This barn was hiding three vehicles and an observatory.

As I was leaving the barn, I had to take the photographs, as I love to mix military gear and window light, so atmospheric.  Big thanks to the judges, as I wasn’t expecting it at all.”

Nicky Yeoman added: “From all the team at Supacat, we would like to congratulate Corporal Ben Beale on achieving the Professional Category Story award. We are delighted that three Supacat HMT Jackals formed part of the story! Behind the camera, Ben demonstrates how the Jackal can be concealed from operation while bringing the reconnaissance exercise to life.

We are also delighted that the panel recognised Ben’s ingenuity by telling a captivating story simple, through the eye of a camera lens, which means his work will be available for future generations to see.”

To find out who the winners and nominees were from the 16 photographic categories visit the army photographic 2019 winners page.

   

Phil Applegarth appointed Director of Supacat Limited

Nick Ames CEO SC Group is delighted to announce the appointment of Phil Applegarth as a Director of Supacat Limited.

“Phil has been with the business since 2009, after completing over 23-years in the Army. Phil has filled a number of roles in his time at Supacat, all of them within the defence vehicles business stream. He has a strong network of colleagues within the Ministry of Defence and in overseas Defence Ministries as well a good relationship with the Tier 1 industry partners within defence.”

Phil is delighted with his new appointment, and shares part of his history with us:

“I joined Supacat in July 2009 as the Support Operations Manager and on promotion to Head of Customer support in 2011, I made some sweeping changes to maximise long-term business opportunities and create a solid foundation to grow the organisation.  For the last five-years, I have been responsible for looking after the global Supacat defence business stream within SC Group with the exception of Asia-Pacific.

My team of project managers and I are responsible for delivering all aspects of new programmes and in-service support across the globe in which we operate. This includes Spares, Repairs, Field Service Support, Training, Upgrades and Improvements and Post Design Services to meet the customer’s needs.  I will continue to focus on extending the global SF family and developing new capabilities on existing platforms and delivering exciting new programmes.

Prior to joining Supacat, I completed over 23-years in the Army as a proud Para Commando Loggie.  Advice was seldom listened to and even after being warned never to volunteer; I always had my hand in the air for anything mad, bad or dangerous!  My considerable experience of vehicle based mobility operations enables me to intimately understand and credibly advise the needs of our customers.  In my remaining spare time, I am a Reserve RIFLES Officer offering years of mobility and operational experience into specialist mission units within Joint Force Command (JFC).

I am married to Jo who also works at SC Group as the Export Compliance Officer, who patiently stays at home.  Jo while at home looks after her horses, chickens, dogs and my sheep and Highland cows, while uncomplainingly waiting for my return!

The team at SC Group Ltd would like to wish Phil every success in his new role.

UK company pioneers autonomous hybrid vehicle for extreme off road operations

Supacat unveils `optionally manned hybrid` Demonstrator at DSEi

At DSEi 2019 the world leading Special Forces vehicle developer, Supacat, is unveiling its Technology Demonstrator for hybrid and optionally manned operations, developed to keep pace with battlefield logistical requirements on extreme terrain and unpredictable routes.

The Technology Demonstrator has been developed by UK headquartered Supacat in collaboration with the University of Exeter as part of an Innovate UK-supported Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).

Electric Hybrid propulsion and autonomous technologies are two important innovations that will enhance the capabilities of users of our in service high mobility platforms.  We have focussed our efforts on designing open system architectures, allowing extensive use of commercial off the shelf (COTS) components, which we see as key to a successful and sustainable military solution in a rapidly evolving technology sector”, explains Steve Austen, Engineering Director of Supacat parent, SC Group.

It is in Supacat’s DNA to tailor its platforms and solutions to each customer’s requirements. Our approach uses a common electric drivetrain, each of which can be customised through different powering options depending on mission, range, payload and operating environment.  For example, a customer may have a mission profile with a mixture of on road and off road operations, with a need for silent operation for a percentage of time – the proportion of these components will determine whether series or parallel hybrid options are employed or if full electric propulsion is needed. As battery or fuel cell technology advances and diesel engine development responds to legislation, these options will inevitably change and we must provide vehicle architectures that can accommodate such evolution”, Austen comments.

We are exploring, developing and incorporating autonomous technologies in a way that will permit the level of collaboration and control from human to vehicle or from vehicle to vehicle to be altered depending on the complexity of the work being undertaken. Allowing vehicles to be `optionally manned` will remove users from the `dull, dirty or dangerous` tasks wherever possible and create a real operational advantage for the end user”, says Austen.

The ‘optionally manned’ demonstrator utilises:

  • a terrain detection and response system for enhanced mobility and optimised endurance,
  • an object categorisation and response system for obstacle clearance or avoidance during technical off road driving, which can be tailored to the capabilities of the vehicle, driver or a remote operator, and
  • a path planning and motion behaviour system using simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) for the navigation of lead and follow on vehicles.

 Few autonomous vehicle projects focus on highly technical off road terrain.  The challenge here is to manage and reduce the volume of data needed about the unpredictable non-linear environment around the vehicle to assure effective, safe and predictable performance without having to import and export masses of data from it”, notes Austen.

The Technology Demonstrator uses the Supacat workhorse, the All Terrain Mobility Platform (ATMP), as its base vehicle as ATMP is a mature, battle proven and relatively simple product, enabling the development programme to focus on the new technologies and capabilities and subsequently allowing rapid development. It retains the renowned mobility and class leading payload of the original vehicle (up to 1600g).

Supacat is welcoming potential users and customers to demonstrations at its Devon facility over the next six months and is actively seeking new mission challenges that enable them to benchmark the performance of the vehicle and level of autonomy achieved during continued development in conducting realistic tasks.  Use of Machine Learning, supported by Neural Networks will continue to allow the system to develop and be adapted to different off road vehicles and applications.

Supacat is exhibiting at DSEI 2019 on Stand N9-350, 10-13 March 2019

Underside of autonomous hybrid ATMP

 

Supacat, Rheinmetall and SCISYS partnership showcases new High Mobility Integrated Fires Capability

Supacat, Rheinmetall Defence and SCISYS have partnered to showcase a new capability for light forces, the ‘High Mobility Integrated Fires Capability’, at DSEi.  The partnership demonstrates Supacat’s 6×6 HMT platform mounted with Rheinmetall’s MWS81 mortar system in its first integration on a light vehicle.  The target acquisition and integrated fire support platform is networked with SCISYS GVA compliant platform and mission software.

Supacat’s highly mobile HMT platforms with their superior off road performance allow users to perform high tempo operations delivering indirect fire for light role forces while the MWS81 mortar capability allows for rapid ‘into action time’.  The Vingmate sight provides target acquisition and location during day and night operations, with targets being shared over the battlespace data network enabling Support Weapon effects to be directed precisely onto targets.

The SCISYS developed GVA compliant platform and mission software shares data and video around the platform to each crew member’s display and into the battlespace networks, enhancing shared situational awareness and speed of decision making.  The displays are supplied by Leonardo.

This enhanced capability is a first for light forces and offers a solution to a number of potential requirements among the green army and Special Forces”, said Phil Applegarth, Head of Supacat.

High Mobility Integrated Fires Capability is being demonstrated on the Supacat stand N9-350 on Supacat’s HMT Extenda Mk2 Special Forces vehicle, which is also making its show debut at DSEi. 

Supacat grows engineering services supporting Rheinmetall on UK and Australian defence programmes

Supacat, the UK headquartered Special Forces vehicle developer, is growing its Engineering Services, in parallel to its core OEM vehicle business, to support global primes on defence programmes.  At DSEi 2019 Supacat is highlighting its collaboration with Rheinmetall on four key programmes – the UK’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) Boxer, Challenger 2 Life Extension Programme (CR2 LEP) and the Scout SV turret and on Australia’s Land 400 Phase 2.

With UK MoD announcements expected on CR2 LEP and MIV, we are fully committed to supporting Rheinmetall wherever we can add value. We currently have engineers on placement with Rheinmetall Landsystemes at Kassel and Unterluess working on ongoing programmes”, said Phil Applegarth, Head of Supacat.

Supacat is renowned for its innovation in developing platforms such as the HMT `Jackal`, and brings this experience in delivering fully-engineered, integrated and battle-ready vehicle systems to both the UK and Australian MoD from its operations in each country.  It is distinctive in the market in offering primes a full OEM engineering capability but with the responsiveness and flexibility of an SME (Small to Medium Enterprise).

The relationship gives Rheinmetall the agility to rapidly draw on additional and specialist resources from engineering design to rapid prototyping and manufacture through to project and supply chain management”, said Thomas Zierke, Vice President Programmes at Rheinmetall Landsysteme.

Supacat is exhibiting at DSEI 2019 on Stand N9-350, 10-13 March 2019

Pictured: Mock turret for Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (CR2), manufactured by Supacat to allow validation of the internal layout and optimisation for human interface factors including evacuation.

Supacat showcases Light Role Vehicle at DSEi 2019

Supacat, the UK headquartered Special Forces vehicle developer, is showcasing its Light Role Vehicle at DSEi 2019.  LRV offers unrivalled performance in terrain access, range and operator comfort.  Its low weight and packaging offers a genuine `Fly / Drive` tactical capability utilising current in-service aviation assets for rapid intervention operations, while maintaining excellent payload capacity.

Building on Supacat’s experience in building world class high mobility vehicles, the Light Role Vehicle has been designed to deliver exceptional off road performance lowering user fatigue, reducing cognitive burden and enabling the operator to arrive at their objective fit to fight.

Supacat’s ongoing design work has upgraded LRV with a new engine and chassis to provide an optimised mix of bespoke and COTS components.  This delivers an extended platform life with ease of supportability and standardisation across the LRV variants in order to minimise the through life cost and training burden. The design approach also considers ease of manufacture and maintenance.

The Supacat LRV platform is highly modular and offers a range of configuration options to suit a variety of environmental conditions, threat levels and crew requirements.  All variants use a common chassis and driveline with customers able to specify modular elements of the vehicle such as open or closed cabs, seating layout, load platform and weapon systems.

LRV also has the unique feature of being convertible between 6×6 and 4×4, offering users the flexibility to reconfigure the vehicle to meet different operational requirements within hours by the addition or removal of a 3rd axle module.

The feedback from our current specialist customer base has been extremely positive and users describe the vehicles as `in a class of its own`,” said Ben Gaffney, Head of New Programmes, Supacat.  “Users love the HMT.  The LRV offers the same level of quality and off road capability, in a smaller and more compact vehicle.”

LRV is ITAR free and can be supported via Supacat’s existing globally available spares network.  LRV has been developed with a common user interface to its Supacat HMT `Jackal` to maximise inter-operability and minimise training.

Supacat is exhibiting at DSEI 2019 on Stand N9-350, 10-13 March 2019

Pictured: Open and closed cab LRV WMIK variants with options for 4 or 5 seats

     

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