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NP Aerospace in Coventry has been awarded an £81M contract, to convert Cougar 4x4s into Ridgback armoured vehicles.
A total of 157 Ridgback vehicles will roll off the production line at NP Aerospace having undergone an integration process that will include additional protection, weapons, communications systems and specialist electronic counter-measures equipment.
Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies said:
“”Ridgback will supplement the excellent work currently carried out by the hugely successful Mastiff. As a smaller version than Mastiff it will offer our forces first-rate protection with greater manoeuvrability and easier access to urban areas.
“”NP Aerospace and its workforce are to be congratulated on the support they are providing to our Armed Forces – the equipment they deliver from body armour plates to helmets is saving lives on a daily basis.””
Robert Hobbs, Specialist and Utility Vehicles Deputy Team Leader, said:
“”Due to the hard work of the project team and close liaison with NP Aerospace we can now get on with the integration process which will convert the Cougar base vehicle we see today into Ridgback, an uparmoured and weaponised version ready to get out on operations as a welcome addition to our protected vehicle fleet.””
The vehicle will be produced in four variants – a troop carrier, a protected weapons station, an ambulance or command post vehicle – to enable it to carry out different roles within Afghanistan.
Mastiff, like Ridgback, is manufactured by FPII and is based upon their Cougar 6×6 vehicle. In sharing the same basic platform and major components, Ridgback will benefit from the established support and training regimes already in place and proven for Mastiff.
NP Aerospace was also awarded a £61M contract to deliver Mastiff 2, the next generation of Mastiff vehicles on 18 September 2008.
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