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Cougar H A1/A2 4x4

Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Patrol Vehicle (MRAP)

A1 ISS Vehicle


Statistics

Country of Origin/Used by: USA (and others including Croatia?, Djibouti, Great Britain, Hungary, Iraq, and Poland)
First Produced/Service Dates: 2004
Manufactured by: General Dynamics Land Systems (was Force Protection, Inc.)
Crew: 3+4
Armament: (1) of the following weapons in turret or on Remote Weapons System (RWS): 5.56mm machine gun, 7.62mm MG, 12.7mm HMG OR 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL).
Engine: 6-Cylinder Turbocharged Diesel
Miscellaneous Info:

Around the time of the 2003 US Invasion of Iraq, Force Protection, Inc. (FPI) privately developed a mine protected vehicle they initially named the "Typhoon"; soon after being renamed as the Cougar.  After the conclusion of the fighting between the conventional forces in Iraq, insurgents started attacking US vehicles with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), which had devastating effects against lightly armored and soft skinned vehicles.  As a result, in 2004 the US Marine Corps (USMC) was looking for a mobile, yet protected vehicle, which could be used by its Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams. They turned to FPI and bought the first version of the Cougar: the 4x4 Hardened Engineer Vehicle (HEV). The HEV was an unqualified success, reportedly withstanding approximately 300 IED attacks with no fatalities.

 

Due to that success, in 2005-2006 the USMC purchased a large number of additional Cougars, both in 4x4 and 6x6 configurations. With the added vehicles available for use and in coming in two different configurations, the USMC was able to expand the number/types of missions of the Cougars.  With that change in purpose, the Cougar was now labeled as the Joint EOD Rapid Response Vehicle (JERRV).  Besides being used by the EOD teams, the Cougar JERRV's could now be used for larger/more complicated route clearance missions, convoy protection and as ambulances.

 

In 2007, with insurgent IED use continuing, the US officially initiated the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle Program (MRAP).  The MRAP program was instituted to procure a large number of mine protected vehicles for all services of the US Military. The program was to obtain as many viable vehicle designs by as many manufacturers as needed.  The newly named Cougar H 4x4 MRAP was selected as one of those vehicles; the new name signifying the expanded use beyond EOD missions.  The vehicle was classified as a Category 1 MRAP; that classification being the smallest vehicles (by weight, size and troop capacity) of the three (3) classes of MRAP vehicles.

 

Again, the Cougars showed to be a very successful vehicle, but lessons learned during operations showed that upgrades were needed.  In the 2007-2008 period, the improved Cougar H A2 4x4 MRAP was put into service; older vehicles retroactively referred to as A1's.  A2 improvements included added automatic fire extinguisher systems, increased capacity axles, "bosses" added for quick installation/removal of "B-Kit" Armor/toolboxes and the crew compartment being raised by 7 inches.  Note: "B-Kit" armor was designed to defeat enemy IED attacks, most notably explosively formed penetrators (EFP). Cougars equipped with the anti-EFP armor were often referred to as Cougar "Plus", although it appears that never became an official designation. The final major upgrade to the Cougar series commenced in 2009 with the fitting of the TAK-4 Independent Suspension System (ISS) to both A1 and A2 vehicles in the both 4x4 and 6x6 configurations.  Those vehicles are named "ISS" (e.g. Cougar H A2 ISS). 

 

As shown above, other countries use/have used Cougar 4x4 MRAP's, most of which were very similar to the US vehicles.  However, some heavily modified versions were built exclusively for the other users.  These different versions include the Badger International/Iraqi Armored Vehicle (ILAV) and the British early Tempest Mine Protected Vehicle and later Ridgback Protected Patrol Vehicle.

Data Sheet Available:  Cougar H A2 ISS 4x4 Vehicle Product Brochure (General Dynamics Land Systems)

Photos/Documents

Reference Source/Provider
    Cougar H A1 4x4 MRAP Photos Anthony Basso (USMC) - North Carolina, USA
  Cougar H A1 4x4 MRAP Photo (USAF & US Army Vehicles) U.S. Army
Cougar H A1 4x4 MRAP Photos U.S. Marine Corps
    Cougar H A1 ISS 4x4 MRAP Photos U.S. Department of Defense
      Cougar H A1 ISS 4x4 MRAP Photos U.S. Marine Corps
  Cougar H A1 ISS 4x4 RABDO Vehicle Photo (USAF Recovery of Airbase Denied by Ordnance Vehicle equipped with Laser for destruction of runway blocking munitions) U.S. Army
Cougar H A2 4x4 Joint EOD Rapid Response (Training) Vehicle (JERRV) Photos Mark Aldrich - IPMS/USA Tacoma Green Dragons (Washington)
  Cougar H A2 ISS 4x4 MRAP Photo General Dynamics Land Systems
  Cougar H A2 ISS 4x4 MRAP Photo U.S. Army
        Cougar H A2 ISS 4x4 MRAP Photos U.S. Marine Corps
  Cougar H 4x4 & HE 6x6 A2 ISS Vehicle Product Brochure (2011) General Dynamics Land Systems
Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle Slideshow Presentation (2011) US Department of Defense's Joint Program Office-MRAP via Dave Haugh - Content Editor

References Available

Online

Reference Source/Provider
Cougar 4x4 MRAP Information and Photos General Dynamics Land Systems
Cougar 4x4 & 6x6 MRAP Information and Photos The Armoured Essentials
Cougar 4x4 & 6x6 MRAP Information and Photos Army Technology.Com
Cougar 4x4 & 6x6 MRAP Information and Photos Global Security. Org Website
Cougar 4x4 & 6x6 MRAP Information and Photos Olive Drab. Com Website
Cougar 4x4 & 6x6 MRAP Information and Photos Military Today.Com

Printed

Reference Author
Encyclopedia of Modern U.S. Military Tactical Vehicles (Tankograd Publications) Carl Schulze
Iraq Insurgency: US Army Armored Vehicles In Action: Part 2 (Concord Publications) Carl Schulze
Marines On the Ground: Operation Iraqi Freedom: Part 2 (Concord Publications) Gordon Arthur
MRAP: Modern U.S. Army Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (Tankograd Publishing) Carl Schulze
"MRAP Pt 1" Military Machines International Magazine (September 2008 Issue) Shaun Connors
MRAP Walkaround Photo Reference Photo Files: Part 1 Robert Skipper (available directly from author via e-mail)
U.S. Army and Marine Corps MRAPS (Osprey Publishing) Mike Guardia

U.S. MRAPís: In Action (Squadron-Signal Publications)

John Adams-Graf

Hobby Modeling

Kits and Accessories

Model Kit Manufacturer Scale Other Information
Cougar 4x4 MRAP Model Kit (PH35003) Panda Hobby 1/35 Injection Molded Plastic.
       
Aftermarket Set Manufacturer Scale Other Information
Cougar MRAP 4x4 Wheel Set (35213K) Blast Model 1/35 Resin. For Panda Hobby Kit.
MRAP Antenna Mount with "Fall-Over System" (BL35212) Blast Models 1/35 Resin.
Modern MRAP HID/LED Light Bars (BL35226K) Blast Models 1/35 Resin.
Cougar MRAP 4x4 Wheel Set (RMA 35278) REAL MODEL 1/35 Resin. For Panda Hobby Kit.
Cougar MRAP 4x4 Wheel Set #2 (RMA 35282) REAL MODEL 1/35 Resin. For Panda Hobby Kit.
US Cougar 4X4 MRAP Detail Set (PE35750) Voyager Model 1/35 Photo-Etched Brass. For Panda Hobby Kit.
US Cougar 4X4 MRAP "Additional Parts" Set  (PEA355) Voyager Model 1/35 Photo-Etched Brass. For Panda Hobby Kit.

Model Photos

Reference Source/Provider