On Thursday 1st February Babcock officially launched their Supacat JACKAL 3 production facility at Devonport in Plymouth, writes Bob Morrison.
As luck would have it, when the Operational Note for the JACKAL 3 launch event was issued I was already scheduled to check in at Heathrow Airport at 04:30 the following morning for a flight to Germany for onward travel to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia to cover World Defence Show 2024. Oops!
However Supacat and their vehicles are so close to my heart, not least because I first drove and then wrote about the company’s original Mk.II 6×6 way back in the mid-1980s before UK MoD ordered it as the All-Terrain Military Platform or ATMP, that I felt I simply had to attend the Devonport launch of JACKAL 3 which on H&S grounds would be taking place in the afternoon after work had stopped in the factory. Our official Press Release news article, accompanied by a few of my original images taken that afternoon, was actually edited and uploaded while I was travelling on a train from Plymouth to Paddington that evening; coincidentally not all that far from Supacat’s Dunkeswell Airfield headquarters in East Devon.
That news article has generated a fair bit of reader interest and since publication we have been contacted by a number of readers keen to learn more about the JACKAL 3 specification. Unfortunately we cannot supply these at present, as the customer (UK MoD) has not cleared details for circulation, but we do know that:
- the suspension has been uprated to give additional payload and even better off-road performance;
- an upgraded engine has been fitted to ensure additional performance and economy;
- rollover protection has been further enhanced.
We also understand that the already impressive JACKAL armoured protection of the crew compartment against both blasts and projectiles, operationally proven several times in combat, has been increased but understandably on OpSec grounds precise confirmation of levels is unlikely to be forthcoming for the foreseeable future. The standard JACKAL 3 is an open-topped vehicle to allow recce and fire support personnel maximum situational awareness, but we understand a fully armoured enclosed variant has already also been developed for other uses.
While we cannot yet provide technical details of JACKAL 3, we suspect the above images from Babcock’s Raglan Building production facility might still be of interest to some readers.
For more on the JACKAL 3 procurement and the history of the Supacat HMT 400 / British Army JACKAL see:-
- Babcock and Supacat Launch Jackal 3 Production
- UK MoD Procuring At Least 75 Additional Supacat HMTV
- Supacat JACKAL HMWP ~ Part One by Bob Morrison
- Supacat JACKAL HMWP ~ Part Two by Carl Schulze
- Supacat JACKAL HMWP ~ Part Three by Carl Schulze