Force Protection Europe's next-generation light protected patrol vehicle, Ocelot, is being launched in the Middle East at the region's largest defence and security exhibition IDEX, which takes place from 20-24 February at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Ocelot is the most highly protected and agile vehicle of its size and weight available on today's market. At the end of last year the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence (MoD) demonstrated its confidence in the vehicle by awarding Force Protection Europe a contract to supply 200 to the British Army in its Foxhound variant.
What makes Ocelot stand out from other vehicles of a similar size and weight is the high level of protection it offers to the occupants, while at the same time providing exceptional cross country mobility and flexibility. The vehicle has a unique modular design and an armoured v-shaped hull which runs the length of the vehicle to protect the occupants and also the critical components from mine and blast threats.
Depending on the desired role of the Ocelot, different pod variants, which sit on the v-shaped spine, can be easily swopped over to suit different missions. The Ocelot that is being showcased during IDEX has a protected patrol vehicle pod but an example of a weapons-mounted infantry kit (WMIK) pod will also be on display. The vehicle has also been designed from the outset to allow for growth in payload, power management and incremental uplift.
Created and manufactured in the UK, after a rapid and robust design and testing programme, the vehicle is the brainchild of survivability specialist Force Protection Europe. A subsidiary of Force Protection Industries Inc, renowned for its world-leading mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles such as the Cougar and Buffalo, Force Protection Europe has already gained a pedigree for combining innovations from the motorsport arena with traditional defence vehicle discipline. Force Protection Europe has worked closely on Ocelot's development with automotive specialist Ricardo plc.
The vehicle went through more than 12 months of rigorous blast and mobility testing before being selected by the MoD and the development has not stopped there. Two Ocelots, in the utility and command variant, have now been sent over to Australia for trials in the government's Land 121 Phase 4 Project.
Gerald Howarth, Minister for International Security Strategy at the UK's Ministry of Defence, will be attending a media launch event for the vehicle tomorrow (21 February). He said: "The Ocelot is a testament to British design and engineering skills. It has already been selected by the UK Government for our Light Protected Patrol Vehicle programme as it offers unparalleled levels of protection for a vehicle of its size and weight, with exceptional performance both on and off road. I believe the Ocelot has the qualities which other Armies require to meet today's operational challenges and I'm delighted that it is being considered by Governments around the world. I wish the team every success in exporting this excellent vehicle."
David Hind, Managing Director, Force Protection Europe, said: "We are pleased to be able to demonstrate two variants of Ocelot during IDEX. The vehicle has attracted intense international interest in the last 12 months and we know it appeals to many different audiences for a variety of requirements. The confidence that the UK Government has shown in our design, by placing an order for 200, is a real vote of support and a sign for other potential customers that Ocelot is a vehicle to be seriously considered to meet defence and security protected mobility requirements."
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