Tempest - help please

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Richard_North, Jun 20, 2006.

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  1. The US in Iraq are introducing the Cougar to defend against IEDs. Apparently, we have something similar, on which the Cougar design was based. This is the Tempest MPV. As long as the information is not classified, could anyone tell me whether they have seen these vehicles, where they are based, or of their current whereabouts?

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  2. THey are a specialist Royal Engineer Bomb Disposal vehicle primarily purchased to act as a route proving vehicle, the idea being that the selected crew drive the route as a last confirmation before the route gets opened fully. They currently reside at 33 Engr Regt (EOD) near Saffron Walden and are currently been re-deployed to Afghanistan after a post Op Telic refurb and patch paint. The operators I have spoken to say that although they are capable vehicles on good surfaces they struggle in soft sand and mud, but they are sticking with them for now. The Cougar is actually based on the RG family of vehicles and the MAMBA the RE (EOD)'s previous MPV was the fore runner of them, it was used in the Balkans and was a pig to drive, but gave you a nice warm feeling inside about surviving a AV Mine strike.
     
  3. Many thanks. Do we know how long they were in Iraq and why they were withdrawn from service there? Is there no need for "route proving" in Iraq or is a different vehicle used for that purpose now?

    Intrigued by your comments re the Mamba. Was this the standard Mamba or the short-wheel-base version (called the Commanche or Acorn). Why were they so difficult to drive?
     
  4. They were only used for the war fighting phase and a little of the following Telic Op's, the main reason they were withdrawn was the lack of a mine threat once the intial thrust into Iraq had stabilised. There are many thousands of mines in Iraq, but most are on the borders to the surrounding countries (7 in total!!), the vast majority are well marked and surface laid so the need for a MPV was much less. The idea of route proving was only for the threat from mines, not IED's. The current generation of EFP type IED's would cut through Tempest with ease and therefore they do not offer much more protection than all ready offered.
    As for the Mamba we had the short wheel based variant with out the side windows in the passenger compartment, it was a pretty old fashioned vehicle with a 4 speed manual gear box, a huge delay on the steering, nightmareish brakes that really struggled to get the thing to stop (air brakes but the poorest I've ever come across). All in all it was a real challenge to drive, I got to love it in the end, but it put off many a driver during its time. It had its good points, the seperately fueled heater (easily coped with the balkans winter), the sound of it, and of course it carried as much kudos as any vehicle in Bosnia!
     
  5. Thanks. Mambas... Were these the beasts?

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    As for the Tempest, is this the same as the Cougar, currently used by the USMC? They seem to use them for IED protection.

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  6. Thats them, my one was the one on the right JJ00AA (the beast) by the way! If you look at the rear step of the one on 00AA you can see the addtional armour plate that was added to cope with the threat from TMRP-6 AV mines, which fired a explosively formed projectile (EFP), widely regarded as being the best mine in the world. The plate weight was around 1.5 tonnes and did not help the handling, perfomance or braking system on the poor MAMBA. Because the TMRP-6 is functioned by a tilt rod or pressure and in the case of the TMRP-7 influence we could not rely on the wheel functioning the mine and therefore the plate was added.
    As for the American system of counter IED actions, if M1 Abrahams have been taken on by EFP IED and defeated I not too confident that any wheeled conventionally armoured vehicle could prevent the EFP doing its job. The tend to use them as a means of deliberately initiating IED's by driving them on the flanks of routes, not a great idea. I'm not sure what vehicles they are currenty using as the seem to be able to buy what they want when thay want (which would be nice) rather than the British way of anly being able to go to Alvis and waiting for them to cobble something together!
     
  7. Many thanks.

    Some Parliamentary questions just gone in:

    Ann Winterton (Congleton):To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the development of the replacements for the OMC/Alvis Mamba/RG-31 mine protected vehicles became Project TEMPEST; and when and to whom the main development and construction contracts were awarded for the Truck, Mine Protected Vehicle.
    (80542)

    156
    Ann Winterton (Congleton):To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the total cost of Project TEMPEST was, excluding the acquisition costs of the Truck, Mine Protected Vehicle.
    (80543)

    157
    Ann Winterton (Congleton):To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Truck, Mine Protected Vehicles were purchased by his Department; and what the total cost of the vehicles supplied was when they were taken on charge.
    (80544)

    158
    Ann Winterton (Congleton):To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, in whom the intellectual property of Project TEMPEST was vested; and what agreements were made by his Department to recover (a) fees and (b) other income from subsequent use of the design and technology employed in the project.
    (80545)

    159
    Ann Winterton (Congleton):To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any aspects of the technology and design of the Project TEMPEST Truck, Mine Protected Vehicles were classified.
    (80546)

    160
    Ann Winterton (Congleton):To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, where Truck, Mine Protected Vehicles have been deployed since they have been taken on charge; for what periods and with what formations; where they are now deployed; and how many are currently still on charge and in active service.
    (80547)