WEAPONS OF WAR
Just as at home on the grasslands of Salisbury Plain as it is in the Afghan hinterland, Jackal combines firepower and agility to create a lightweight patrol vehicle. Craig Allen profiles the British Army’s modern, multi-role, high-speed workhorse
For decades, the British Army has relied on light patrol vehicles based on the Land Rover. Beginning with the early Series vehicles, the ubiquitous chassis has formed the basis of the famous ‘Pink Panthers’ used by the SAS with its 110-based ‘Pinkies’ seeing action during the first Gulf War. This long line of reconnaissance and patrol vehicles culminated in the purpose-built WMIK or ‘Wimik’ (Weapons Mount Installation Kit) based on the Wolf, a military derivative of the Defender.
The rugged WMIK performed well in Iraq but their deployment into Afghanistan's wild and remote Helmand province pushed them to the limit.
Because of their narrow tyres, the vehicles struggled in tough terrain while extended patrols demanded that crews carry a greater payload than the types 110in wheelbase could sustain.
Mine strikes were common while the Taliban’s liberal use of IEDs highlighted greater vulnerabilities. Even with survivability upgrades the Land Rover WMIK provided less protection than even the Snatch Land Rover, though it is fair to note neither vehicle was designed with roadside bombs in mind.