UK — Wolfhound goes operational in Afghanistan

The British Army’s newest heavy­weight pro­tect­ed vehi­cle, Wolfhound, is now oper­a­tional in Afghanistan, giv­ing troops increased pro­tec­tion as they sup­port mis­sions in high-threat areas.

Troops from 16 Air Assault Brigade learning how to drive the new Wolfhound vehicle on a purpose-built training area at Camp Bastion
Troops from 16 Air Assault Brigade learn­ing how to dri­ve the new Wolfhound vehi­cle on a pur­pose-built train­ing area at Camp Bas­tion
Source: Cor­po­ral Mark Web­ster, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

The six-wheeled Wolfhound joins Coy­ote and Husky as the biggest of the tac­ti­cal sup­port vehi­cle fam­i­ly.

Defence Sec­re­tary Dr Liam Fox said:

“Wolfhound’s deploy­ment on the front line marks a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone for the range of vehi­cles our troops have at their dis­pos­al. Car­ry­ing essen­tial com­bat sup­plies such as food, water and ammu­ni­tion, the tac­ti­cal sup­port vehi­cle fleet is pro­vid­ing vital sup­port to troops on front line patrols.

“Husky and Coy­ote have already proved to be great assets, and the fur­ther pro­tec­tion offered by Wolfhound demon­strates our ongo­ing com­mit­ment to ensur­ing our troops have the best equip­ment pos­si­ble.”

Wolfhound is fit­ted with a 7.62mm gen­er­al pur­pose machine gun plus an array of elec­tron­ic equip­ment includ­ing elec­tron­ic coun­ter­mea­sures and tac­ti­cal satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion.

Chief of the Gen­er­al Staff, Gen­er­al Sir Peter Wall, said:

“I’m delight­ed that Wolfhound is now oper­a­tional. This high­ly pro­tect­ed trans­port vehi­cle is a crit­i­cal addi­tion to the range of vehi­cles avail­able to com­man­ders in Afghanistan and com­ple­ments the Mas­tiff and Ridg­back fleets very well.

“We con­tin­ue to devel­op our vehi­cle fleets in light of expe­ri­ence and the evolv­ing threat. This is anoth­er impor­tant step down that path.”

Wolfhound’s com­bi­na­tion of Mas­tiff pro­tec­tion and fire pow­er with a flatbed for car­go is already being appre­ci­at­ed by the 2nd Roy­al Tank Reg­i­ment in Hel­mand. Sergeant David Roberts said:

“We can car­ry extra food, water and ammu­ni­tion to stay out on the ground for longer. We can also trans­port more of the lads’ kit between check­points — all with the same fight­ing capa­bil­i­ty as Mas­tiff.”

The Wolfhound’s flatbed rear sec­tion can car­ry pal­letised loads or spe­cial­ist user ‘pods’, thus mak­ing the vehi­cle capa­ble of offer­ing sup­port to a vari­ety of the­atre users.

Although only the util­i­ty vari­ant has so far been deployed, the mil­i­tary work­ing dog vari­ant is also on its way. Fit­ted to the load-car­ry­ing area of Wolfhound, a ‘pod’ has been devel­oped to trans­port spe­cial­ist mil­i­tary work­ing dogs around the­atre.

The pod com­bines base vehi­cle pro­tec­tion, secure ken­nelling, light­ing and air-con­di­tion­ing to cre­ate a dog-friend­ly envi­ron­ment, ensur­ing that these very spe­cial assets are always on hand to help troops defeat the threat from impro­vised explo­sive devices by seek­ing out buried devices or search­ing for com­po­nents or explo­sives.

Pro­duc­tion of 44 pods for mil­i­tary work­ing dog, explo­sive ord­nance dis­pos­al and counter-impro­vised explo­sive device teams’ use is cur­rent­ly under­way, with the first deliv­er­ies sched­uled for ear­ly next year.

An ini­tial order with Inte­grat­ed Sur­viv­abil­i­ty Tech­nolo­gies for around 100 Wolfhounds was boost­ed by a fur­ther order of around 30 addi­tion­al vehi­cles in June 2010. This brings the total val­ue of the con­tract to £160m. Deliv­ery to the­atre is planned to be com­plet­ed by Autumn 2011.

The MOD can also con­firm the sig­na­ture in July of a £36m con­tract with Nav­is­tar Defense for around 90 extra util­i­ty vari­ant Husky vehi­cles, tak­ing the total num­ber to around 340 and the over­all con­tract val­ue to almost £220m.

Like Wolfhound, Husky comes equipped with a driver’s night-vision sys­tem, and Husky’s top-mount­ed machine gun and vari­able ride height pro­vide troops with a flex­i­ble vehi­cle that is both high­ly pro­tect­ed and mobile.

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK

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