6th Jackal driver killed in Helmand - Whoop de doo the MOD now have Jackal 2 which will be safer ! Of course it will, and heavier, slower, less agile
E first introduced readers to the "Jackal" (then called a replacement WMIK - lihgtly armoured LOng Whelbase Land Rover) On June 30, 2007 -
These vehicles are claimed to have, Longer range, Greater payload, Greater mobility (?) and a take your breath away top speed of "up to 80mph (130km/h)" - now how does that compare with a Toyota land Cruiser ute ?- a WMIK weighs nearly 4 tonnes all up, powered by a 4.2 litre engine. Keen observers will however note that the picture accompanying the MOD article is somewhat short on firepower , which can include "a .50 calibre machine gun or an automatic grenade launcher and a general purpose machine gun, as well as carrying up to four troops with their own individual weapons." let's hope they have ordered some guns as well. Note that no costs are mentioned.
It is encouraging to see from the picture that seat belts are provided, meaning the vehicles can be used on Public Highways throughout Europe. The Road Traffic Act as it applies to Afghanistan is not a subject upon which we can claim any knowledge, but presumably these brand spanking new WMIK's will be fully street legal in Kabul .
Big problem is of course, patrolling all day in the poppy fields , the thing will get mucky and dusty - how do you put it through the car wash
Since then we have continued to chronicle not only the weaknesses in this vehicle but also the rate of deaths / serious injuries caused by IED's and minescaused to driver's , crew etc,.
Now we learn a driver (6th to date) of a Jackal from the 2nd Bn The Rifles (Rfn Sheldon, who was from Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Notts)did after being hit by an IED in Sangin Helmand. The Daily Telegraph report yesteday that the MOD is intrducing Jackal 2 which aims to increase safety. (They initially ordered 130 of these £600,000 death traps.
Major Iain Moodie, Officer Commanding B Company, 2 Rifles, paid tribute to the Rfman, saying: "His quick and dry wit underpinned everything and it was always great fun to be in his presence." But not now he's dead having been asked to use unserviceable sub standard equpment.
This is just another consequence of the continuous and disastrous history of procurement by the MOD.