The British Mastiff Protected Patrol Vehicle Background
The British Mastiff is a 6×6 Wheel drive patrol vehicle based on the American Cougar made by Force Protection. The British, in need of an injection of new vehicles and armour into the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan made the decision to buy 108 Cougers in 2006. In the coming months it was modified by NP AeroSpace in Coventry and became The Mastiff. Following successful trials in Iraq by the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment in Late 2006, the British army announced the purchase of another 140 mastiff worth around £100 million.
The British Mastiff Protected Patrol Vehicle Weapons
Mastiff soon become respected and highly sought after by the Army and its ability to dominate ground and provide not only a very safe patrol platform for troops in theatre but a very effective weapons platform. Capable of mounting a 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG)
The L37 Varient of the GPMG in action in Afghanistan.
a 12.7mm Fifty Calibre heavy machine Seen here in the dismounted role.
gun or a 40mm Grenade machine gun.
As Armies adjust and refine their tactics and fighting techniques so to does the enemy. This was certainly the case in Afghanistan with the entry of the Mastiff and added protection for the troops, The Insurgents will continue to use larger and more complex IED’s (Improvised explosive devices)
Survivability of the crew and occupants is always the forefront of the British Armies priorities. In June 2009 The Mastiff’ 2 entered service. The Mastiff’s original design flaws had become apparent and the speed of which it entered service meant that it could never be 100% from the word go.
The British Mastiff 2 Protected Patrol Vehicle
a more refined polished vehicle who’s improvements include:
Increased electrical power from the alternator 400A vs 200A
Increased crew capacity 2 + 8 as opposed to 2 + 6 (plus an occasional 7th)
Increased CES/stowage locations
Blast attenuating seats
Fold up seats allowing easier stowage if the vehicle is not full of crew
New Situational Awareness system incorporating a Thermal Imager for the driver
Redesigned gunners step
Electronic Turret Traverse Mechanism
Engine and fuel tank fire suppression systems.
With a maximum speed of 90 kph and a payload of 5,200kg Mastiff 2 is suitable for road patrols and convoys and is the newest in a range of protected patrol vehicles being used for operations. Fully equipped with the Armies latest radio and Electronic counter measures (Radio like devices designed to fight the initiation of Road side bombs).
At almost 8m in length the Mastiff 2 was widely regarded as the safest vehicle in Afghanistan.
The British Mastiff 3 Protected Patrol Vehicle
The latest version of the six-wheeled all-terrain vehicle. It features electronic countermeasure devices designed to jam the signals used to detonate IEDs remotely, a 360-degree motorised turret or top cove and six cameras with thermal imaging capability.
The British Mastiff Protected Patrol Vehicle Post Afghanistan War
The British Army has over 400 Mastiff in different Mk’s. They are conducting testing to see if the Mastiff is suitable for a conventional mechanised infantry role rather than counter-insurgency operations which it was bought for.
In November 2014 the army was running Exercise ‘Wessex Storm’ involved units of 12 Mechanised Brigade operating across the Salisbury Plain Training Area using the Mastiff in conventional war scenarios.
The British Army has decided to create 3 Protected Mobility Battalions as part of the Army 2020 Reaction Force and will be equipped with the Mastiff series.
RAF Regiment “Praetorian” Mastiff Protected Patrol Vehicle
The Praetorian is similar to a Mastiff 3 Protected Patrol Vehicle but has a sophisticated telescopic mast mounted camera system for targeting and surveillance as well as an improved Remote Weapons Fire Control System. The Praetorian was used by the RAF Regiment’s Force Protection in Afghanistan.