The United Kingdom will send armoured vehicles to Ukraine for the first time as part of a new £100m package of military aid, as President Zelenskyy warns against “any delay” in offering further weapons and equipment. Armoured vehicles, Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles, 800 anti-tank missiles, helmets, and night vision goggles will be included in the consignment, in addition to 200,000 items already distributed. UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told Sky News the Ukrainian military would get Mastiff heavily armoured patrol vehicles, which weigh 23 tonnes and carry eight troops and two crew. It is understood they will be stripped of sensitive equipment and could help mount offensive operations close to Russian lines.
Mastiff Protected Patrol Vehicle (PPV) is a British version of the Cougar 6×6 which arrived in Afghanistan during December 2006, with FPII providing the base vehicle and NP Aerospace in the UK integrating electronics and the British armor package. The Cougar is a mine-resistant ambush-protected and infantry mobility vehicle structured to be resistant to landmines and improvised munitions. It is a family of armored vehicles produced by Force Protection Inc. The vehicles are integrated by Spartan Motors. These vehicles are protected against small arms, land mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) using a combination of design features and materials. A Monocoque type, V-shaped hull extends to the engine bay and serves to direct the blast away from under the vehicle.
Mastiff is a heavily armoured, 6×6-wheel-drive patrol vehicle which carries eight troops, plus two crew. It is currently on its third variation. It is suitable for road patrols and convoys and is the newest in a range of protected patrol vehicles being used for operations. Mastiff has a maximum speed of 90kph, is armed with the latest weapon systems, including a 7.62mm general purpose machine gun, 12.7mm heavy machine gun or 40mm automatic grenade launcher. These wheeled patrol vehicles have a less intimidating profile than tracked vehicles and give commanders on the ground in Afghanistan more options to deal with the threats they are facing. They have Bowman radios and electronic countermeasures and are fitted with additional armour beyond the standard level to ensure they have the best possible protection.
NP Aerospace, a global armour manufacturer and vehicle integrator, has re-engineered the Ridgback and Mastiff platforms for an Urgent Capability Requirement (UCR) in Mali, Africa, under the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Protected Mobility Engineering & Technical Support (PMETS) Contract. The off-road mobility upgrade contract, awarded in May 2020, is valued at c. £7m and covers 12 vehicles and associated spares. It has enabled proven, heavy armoured vehicles held within the protected mobility fleet to be used to protect British Army troops in challenging operational terrains. A total of over 700 Mastiff and Ridgback vehicles have been armoured and integrated by NP Aerospace over the last 15 years for use in various operational theatres. The Protected Mobility Engineering & Technical Support (PMETS) contract is being led by NP Aerospace as Engineering Authority for MoD’s fleet of 2,200 Protected Mobility Vehicles until 2024.