The Cougar H is a family of medium mine-protected vehicles which can be supplied in 4X4 or 6X6 layout. It can be configured for a wide range of tasks including troop carrying (up to 14 in the 6X6), EOD (4 troops and a large EOD robot in the 4X4), command and control, artillery prime mover, recovery and ambulance duty. Cougar H is in production.
The Cougar comes in two configurations, a 4×4 and 6×6. It is designed for the transport and protection of military engineers, especially against smaller ballistic explosives such as rocket propelled grenades, as well as IEDs.
4x4 Category 1 MRAP Mine Resistant Utility Vehicle (MRUV). The US Marine Corps ordered 300 of these vehicles in April 2007.
Tempest MPV (Mine Protected Vehicle)
British version of the Cougar H.
Badger ILAV (Iraqi Light Armored Vehicle)
Based on the Cougar H and manufactured by BAE Systems for the New Iraqi Army.
6x6 Category 2 MRAP Joint EOD Rapid Response Vehicle (JERRVs). The US Marine Corps ordered 700 of these vehicles in April 2007.
Mastiff PPV (Protected Patrol Vehicle)
British version of the Cougar HE.
The Cougar is used by the United States Armed Forces and Iraqi Army and has now entered service with the British Army. In service with those countries, the Cougar is used in a variety of roles, including the HEV (Hardened Engineer Vehicle) and the Joint Explosive Ordnance Disposal Rapid Response Vehicles (JERRVs) while in service with the US Marine Corps.
The British Forces variant will, compared to the original Cougar vehicle, be fitted with large, vertical armor plates which cover the large vision blocks and weapon firing ports. This is in line with British Army doctrine concerning the role of the APC/MICV, specifically that it is to carry troops under protection to the objective and then give firepower support when they have disembarked. The Mastiff will be fitted with a turret sporting either a L7A2 GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun) - the FN MAG 7.62 x 51 mm, L110A1 Light Machine Gun 5.56 x 45 mm or a L1A1 Heavy Machine Gun .50 inch (12.7 mm) BMG (Browning Machine gun), 40mm automatic grenade launchers, or even a 50mm cannon. One aspect of the British Army's approach to APC/MICV units (which differs to that of the United States) is that ability of the average soldier to fire accurately out of the ports of a moving IFV has been questioned. The large armour plates will also give added side protection from RPGs or IED explosions.
The British Army has operated an early version of the Cougar since 2002 in the form of the Tempest MPV. As of August 2006, the British Army has ordered 86 extra Cougar HE 6x6 vehicles for deployment in Iraq, and they are known as Mastiff PPV (Protected Patrol Vehicle). It is conceivable that further orders may follow in the future if the vehicle performs adequately, perhaps replacing the older Saxon armoured trucks (some of which are being redesigned as armoured battlefield ambulances) until the introduction of FRES. Deliveries began in February 2007, and an order for 22 further vehicles was placed in March, bringing the total to 108. In October 2007 Gordon Brown announced a further 140 were being ordered to protect troops in Iraq from mines and roadside bombs.
Britain's "Specialist and Utility Vehicles (SUV)" Integrated Project Team is currently seeking tenders for about 180 "Medium Protected Patrol Vehicles" for "a wide range of patrol tasks" under solicitation EDA-1064. The MPPVs will be wheeled vehicles with a gross weight fully loaded of around 14 tonnes (about 36,000 pounds), offering "very high levels of protection against a number of known and emerging threats of a varied nature including Ballistic, Blast, Mine and Fragmentation" and "a degree of cross country mobility" despite being slated mostly for road and rough track use. Delivery into service is expected in early 2009, at an estimated cost of GBP 20-100 million. The two favorite contenders seem to be the Cougar and the BAE RG-33.
Canada will take delivery of the Cougar within two months and will be employed in Afghanistan.