Support: October 21, 2004


The U.S. Marine Corps has received the first of 40 Cougar hardened engineer vehicle (HEV). Basically a 12 ton truck that is hardened to survive bombs and mines. The Cougar can get engineers into combat situations where mines, explosives or any kind of obstacle, has to be cleared. The bulletproof Cougars are built using the same construction techniques pioneered by South African firms that have, over the years, delivered over 14,000 landmine resistant vehicles to the South African armed forces. The South African technology was imported into the U.S. in 1998 and has already been used in vehicles for peacekeepers in the Balkans. 

The vehicle comes in two versions. The four wheel one can carry ten passengers, the six wheel one can carry 16. The vehicle uses a capsule design to protect the passengers and key vehicle components mines and roadside bombs. The trucks cost about $360,000 each. About one percent of the attacks in Iraq are from landmines, while about a third are from roadside bombs.




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