The Cougar is a vehicle procured originally for the US Army in attempts for an improved patrol vehicle (MRAP) which could handle high explosive blasts from IED’s, mines and small arms fire. The vehicle has a V-shaped hull, which means blasts are deflected away from the vehicle. The vehicle was produced in 2002 and as a current unit cost of nearly $500,000 a piece. The armour which is on the vehicle is classified however has an optional cage which can be fitted to prevent the penetrator warheads of RPGs from hitting the vehicle. This vehicle performed so well in theatres such as Iraq and Afghanistan that there were no deaths incurred when the vehicles were hit by IEDs totally destroying the vehicle itself in hundreds of incidents involving IEDs. The vehicle can come as a 4 x4 (Cougar H) package or 6 x 6 (Cougar HE), weighs in at 14.5 tonnes (Cougar H) or 19 tonnes (Cougar HE), has a maximum speed of 65 mph and has an operational range of 600 miles.
The Cougar can carry a common remotely operated weapons system (CROW) which can be fit with 7.62 (M240-B MG), 12.7 (M2 50. calibre MG) and a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher (Mk. 19) munitions.
The vehicle also has firing ports which personnel on board can fire out of and see out of for better situational awareness if the vehicle is optionally fitted with this.
There are several variants of the Cougar which other armies have customized the original framework to suite operational requirements. However this article will cover the Cougar H and Cougar HE. The distinctive different between these two vehicles is that the Cougar HE has six wheels while the Cougar H only has four.
(In no particular order)
- United States | Purchase of over 4,000 Cougar H/MRAP
- Canada | Purchase of 40
- Hungary | Purchase of 3
- Poland | Loan of 40 from the US for use in Afghanistan
- Italy | Purchase of 6, 6 x 6 Cougar H vehicles