Babcock International Group and Supacat have officially launched the production of 70 High Mobility Transporter (HMT) Jackal 3s for the British Army.
A manufacturing facility located at Babcock’s Devonport site has been specifically designed to produce 62 of the vehicles, while Supacat’s manufacturing facilities in Dunkeswell will build the remaining eight. The production of these new vehicles is scheduled to be finished by the summer of 2024.
This project is among the initial agreements to implement the UK’s Land Industrial Strategy. Babcock, Supacat, the British Army, and the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) team have worked closely together to ensure that the vehicle meets all the operational and safety standards.
The Jackal 3 is an upgraded version of its predecessor that was delivered to the British Army. Supacat has worked on its development for over a decade to cater to the evolving needs of both UK and overseas customers.
The latest iteration of Jackal is equipped with several enhancements, including better crew protection and increased Gross Vehicle Mass, which allows it to carry more load. Although the Jackal 2 already set a benchmark off-road, the latest suspension in the Jackal 3 further improves its performance. While being a 4×4 vehicle, it can quickly be converted into a 6-wheel drive vehicle, doubling 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 defence engineering skills in a much valued part of the South West of England. It is tangible evidence of the British Army’s Land Industrial Strategy and our purpose for Defence: ‘to protect the nation and help it prosper.”
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. Every member of our staff takes enormous pride in the quality of the product that provides our soldiers with a leading-edge battle proven platform that they can rely on.”
“That pride in quality also led us to our production partner for this project, Babcock. Our teams have worked, together with the MoD, tirelessly to a challenging timescale and with enabling technology, to support this procurement and we will continue to do so into the future to provide world class product to the British Army.”