The “Mastiff 2” is a variant of the US Cougar (Part of the MRAP series), and is in operational usage by the United Kingdom. It is combat operation in Afghanistan and began service there in 2007, as the Mastiff. Since its original conception as a Cougar MRAP type vehicle, it has been modified in 50 different areas to improve survivability and protection of the vehicle and its occupants.
The Mastiff 2’s main priority for the British military was to field these as soon as possible in Afghanistan as a medium-type armored vehicle and to offer British personnel much better protection. The vehicle has a V-shaped hull which allows to deflect IED attacks and has anti-mine capabilities. The official magazine for the British Army, Soldier Magazine, recently released an article that stated::
“There has not been a single fatality in one to enemy action in theatre and that proves the survivability is second-to-none.”
Update: On May 1st, 2013 the Ministry of Defence announced that six people had died while on patrol in a Mastiff armored vehicle, in Southern Afghanistan. [Discussion]
Another interesting quote from the article:
“We have seen vehicles that have taken 20 hits but are still going after repairs. Yes they are expensive, but what price do you put on a soldier’s life?”
This is certainly a favourite for the British Army personnel who go out on patrols in Afghanistan. The level of protection is clearly second to none.
The ‘Mastiff 2’ is armed with a 7.62 mm General Purpose Machine gun (GPM); it has a protected shield turret on the roof of the ‘Mastiff 2’ armed with a 12.7 mm (.50 calibre) machine gun for heavy firing purposes. This heavy machine gun can be replaced with a 40 mm grenade launcher (Mk.19) which has an effective range of 1500 m.
The Mastiff 2, has a V-shaped hull; this means that it is supposed to deflect blasts away from the vehicle’s center. The Mastiff 2 included in further modifications to the design has added heavy metal plates to increase protection of the vehicle and its occupants. The driver of the vehicle also has a thermal imaging camera, where he can detect any threats, which may have been hidden before, which further improves the protection of this vehicle. There is also a cage armor or slat armor which is another addition of protection which helps the vehicle capture Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) before it reaches, penetrates then blasts inside the hull itself.
The ‘Mastiff 2’ has 3 wheels on each of its sides (6 x 6) and is heavily armored for the intent of protecting its occupants. It can hold up to 2 people (2 front seats) and an additional 8 people in the back of this huge and well protected vehicle. Its maximum speed is 90kph and has a maximum range of 966km.