The taxonomy of UK Military vehicles is a fascinating field for study but which requires some considerable care and caution as the military mind, whilst given to an obsession with detail and order can suprise any sleepy sub-editor.
Therefore when Royal Marines , Robert McKibben and Neil Dunstan who were part of Task Force Helmand's Information Exploitation Group were reported to have died in their new in a new £600,000 Jackal mine-resistant armoured car (Daily Mail) after a hit from a roadside bomb in Garmsir district of Southern Helmand, Afghanistan, on Wednesday afternoon , the normally well informed technical section of our military staff were non-plussed. (MOD report)
This follows the death of 21 year old Trooper James "Magpie" Munday, of 1 Troop, D Squadron, the Household Cavalry Regiment, on Wednesday 15 October 2008 who was serving as a Jackal driver on Operation HERRICK 8 when he was killed in action in Helmand province. His Troop was conducting a routine patrol approximately 23km north of Forward Operating Base Delhi when he was killed by a contact explosion. (MOD report)
The "Jackal" first saw life as a military vehicle when on Monday 25th June the MOD announced that under an Urgent Operational Requirement for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan , (which as Lord patel's old batman pointed out they don't hand out with the rations.Sir.) 130 new new MWMIK 's , (Mobility Weapon Mounted Installation Kit) will begin deploying out to operational theatres "early in 2008", Lord Drayson, Minister of State for explaining shortages, overunning costs, and delays in Defence Equipment and Support, said:
"These vehicles are well armed, swift, and agile and will boost our capability with some serious firepower. MOD and the Treasury have worked hard to get these powerful vehicles to our troops in quick time, and they will start going out to theatre early next year." see Saturday, June 30, 2007 WMIK - Patrolling Afghanistan in a convertible
Then in September they announced the purchase again ..Wednesday, September 05, 2007 MOD announce ordering 130 MWMIK air cooled 6 x 6 Supercats at £250,000 each for Afghanistan next year - AGAIN
Sharp eyed readers may note the absence of protection of the crew - all handily placed immediately over the axles, where if contact is made with a mine they can expect the maximum explosive force.
The vehicle was based on 6x6 wheel drive design from Supacat Ltd from Honiton in Devon, with a claimed top speed of 80 mph. Universal Engineering Ltd manufacture the steel framed chassis, Cummings the engine, and Allison the transmission.
Sharp eyed observers might also notice that any mine protection is - if present, fairly minimal.
Quite when the name Jackal was applied to this hybrid vehicle - when the Mail on Sunday introduced it in September 2007 it was "80mph "Mad Max" monster targeting the Taliban"
Looks like it is becoming a soft target for Taliban ... as we said at the time ... Patrolling Afghanistan in a convertible .. not forgetting Friday, January 27, 2006 Reid sends ill equipped troops to certain deaths in S Afghanistan