Estonian Special Forces deploying to Mali will be loaned four Jackal armoured vehicles by the Ministry of Defence.

Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey confirmed the loan, plus a three-week training package, for elite soldiers of the Estonian Armed Forces.

The loan will equip Estonian troops as they join the fight against Islamic terrorism in the Sahel region of Africa, a further example of the UK’s strong partnership with one of its closest NATO allies, say the MoD.

Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said:

“Having served with the Estonians in Afghanistan, I’ve seen first-hand the excellence of their Armed Forces and the depth of the friendship between our two nations. With the Jackal 2 the Estonian Armed Forces will be equipped with a proven, battle winning vehicle as they join the international effort to tackle terrorism.” 

Following three years of close collaboration between the UK and Estonian Armed Forces on NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence, this loan points to the strength of the two nations’ military’s shared objectives and ability to work together.

“British Army experts will this week finish providing drivers and crew from the EDF with a three-week training course on operating the Jackal 2 at Robertson Barracks in Norfolk.”

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Airborne

Good lads the Estonians, decent soldiers, up for a ruck and capable.

geoff

The SADF operate/d a light utility vehicle known as the Jakkals(Afrikaans for Jackal) Any relation?

geoff

No. Only the name in common

Jason Holmes

Slow news day huh?

Herodotus

Yep…I actually managed to get a hair cut today!

Daniele Mandelli

So did my dad…..and I’m fuming, as the hairdresser apparently had no mask, no visor, no gloves. I thought places could not open of not Covid compliant.

Jonathan

Report them to your local county council public health team. That sort of behaviour will lead us into the next wave quicker than we need to and on an individual basis risks the person catching a potentially life changing illness. That level of close proximity for that Length of time is a proper transmission risk. TBH if I was in a medium to high risk group I’d buy a pair of clippers and get someone in my household to cut my hair, this disease is just not worth the personal risk, and you won’t know if your area is seeing… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Ha! I’ve not visited a hairdresser since I was a teenager. Used to be Mum, now my wife uses the good old clippers. And with my hair, or lack of it, styling isn’t a problem! I will look into that. Thank you J. My father is one of those dafties who’s being going out regardless during lockdown, at 82 years of age. Buses into Tooting, rarely wearing a mask, and struggling to understand social distancing. I guess like so many elderly who are the stubborn stuck in their ways types that their children despair over. He couldn’t give a monkeys… Read more »

Jonathan

It is a hard one especially if you have had 80 years of life experience that says infectious disease is not a great problem ( interestingly those a decade older tend to have different view has they have greater memories of uncontrolled infectious disease ( TB did not have some effective control until the 50s). Even health care professionals can find it a bit difficult to balance a very high population based risk with personal risk ( I remember a Dr saying on TV covid 19 Did not scare him but sars did, where as I tend to look at… Read more »

Herodotus

I agree with Jonathan above. I was required to wear a facemask (it really improved my image in the mirror) and have my temperature taken before I was allowed in. All customers had to have their hair washed prior to cutting and the hairdressers wore Perspex face guards. I had to make the appointment in advance over the phone and only two customers were allowed in the salon at a time! Up the road there was a new Turkish barbers (opened up in preparation to clean up at the end of lockdown) with customers packed in like sardines. Apparently local… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Interesting. This hair dresser is polish apparently.
It sounds racist, but it’s not meant to be so, but is there the impression that many migrant communities, businesses are not adhering to rules? My father mentions Tooting follows it’s own rules when he visits!

Herodotus

Yes that is an interesting point. I think in the case of the one I mentioned it was sheer opportunism. However, many small businesses run by immigrant communities really operate on very small margins so it is not surprising that corners are cut on occasion. Having worked a lot in the middle east my impression is that certain communities are much more fatalistic than we are. Cultural differences must come into play at times. It is up to the local authorities to ensure that people are fully aware of what they are required to do and enforce the regulations. That… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Yep, that too is a fair point H. Basically, there are stupid people everywhere, regardless of culture!

Anyway, I’ve followed Jonathon’s advice.

Jonathan

Good going DM, it’s important to all do our bit with this one, every interaction counts when managing an infectious disease risk.

John

To be fair i quite enjoyed this article, but each to their own.

Cam

I’ve never been in a jackal, I wonder if you feel vulnerable in it with lack of all around armour. And is it better for recon or special forces that way? The pathfinders used this in Afghanistan didnt they.

Reaper

When I wandered round bastion looking to ‘liberate’ some osprey kit we desperately needed. We stumbled upon the vehicle graveyard and saw the jackal in all its glory. Every single one was twisted up like an empty coke can after ied/RPG strikes.
Our unit went on and rejected available jackals for resupply/basic tasks and demanded husky.

Cam

Cheers Reaper interesting to know 👍

Lordtemplar

Yeah it’s a 6.5 ton vehicle, i would expect a bit more protection. TBH i would rather be in a “Humvee like” vehicle which protects from small arms fire and some air conditioning

Cam

Weren’t Humvees deadly And shit against IEDs ect, and the jackal has the v Underbody and IED protection of sorts? What about Foxhound wouldn’t you prefer that than a humvee?, I suppose every Millitary vehicle Has it’s pros and cons.

Lordtemplar

I said Humvee like, nothing brand specific, meaning a regular military 4×4 which is just as good in off terrain, speed etc…, obviously a Humvee is outaded today, we saw this in Iraq almost 20 years ago. But you have the next gen of Humvee like vehicles, Dingo, Hawkei, JTLV, etc…. and they all have V-shaped hulls which is just bog standard nowadays. My point was i’d rather be in a cabin with air con, i.e. more comfort and protection. If you would rather bake in the sun (Mali is quite hot in the summer) and be susceptible to AK47… Read more »

Cam

I get your point about small arms fire though, especially when where there likely to be deployed every man and his dog has an Ak47, and all it takes is a lucky shot.

David Barry

They’re SF not the Light Brigade about to enter the valley of death. They need mobility to LUP.

Lordtemplar

They are going to the Sahel
Do not underestimate the danger vs bearded guys on mopeds.
Plenty of soldiers from Chad, Mali, etc… have been decimated in raids.
Even US Special Forces were ambushed in an intense 4 hour firefight in Tongo Tongo, Niger back in 2017. 4 US soldiers and 5 Niger soldiers died. RIP
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tongo_Tongo_ambush

Harry Bulpit

Speaking to my dad and his colleagues who used them and the earlier wmiks. Said it didn’t really bother them. Their body armour and helmet was sufficient enough. Had anything hit them which their body armour couldn’t stop, then the amount of armour required to stop it would dramatically decrease its performance. Also you still have quite a bit of protection anyway so aren’t that exposed.

Cam

Yeah and I suppose the jackals speed and agility is their best protection.

Cam

About body armour though, it needs to be practical and non restricting and that leaves areas where you are vulnerable, there’s been loads of deaths where the bullets missed the armour and struck under the arm ect, I’m not sure how the new british Body armour stacks up though

Harry Bulpit

This is true. But the reality is your going in to a war zone. So you just have to way up your life against other concerns, that you otherwise never would have to.

Airborne

The age old question, speed versus firepower, versus protection. Role and risk dependant as per usual.

Jonathan

Mitigate the risk of it happening/elimination of risk (remove the risk, hide, or be somewhere else) vs mitigating the affect when it does ( Resistance to the effect, repair or lots of replacements etc). Elimination trumps all, followed by reducing the chance of occurrence, finally reducing the impact when it occurs. But in reality a bit of all three works best ( I aways visualise the risk of death/harm as a big spongy ball and your trying to reduce the size, it works best if you thinK all the angles and squeeze that risk from all sides, but that’s just… Read more »

Airborne

Agree to a certain amount however no matter what capabilities, plans, equipment is allowed for and taken into consideration, war has a habit of ensuring your plan never survives contact with the enemy. As long as you have done as much mitigation for whatever task you are doing, in the planning phase, then you have to take a bite of the shit sandwich. The mission/task will be the priority, and then it’s a case of ensuring you are able to effectively re-act and adapt whatever you are doing to take the fight back to the enemy, win the firefight and… Read more »

Jonathan

In a bizarre way what you describe is so different from what I’d did and yet for some bits so close ( advanced trauma life support) you plan, practice, set up process and SOPs, reducing the risks as much as you can, but when you get to it you never know what will come your way, person vs intercity, burn, blast, more casualties than you have resus bays and teams, or the worst a friend or child (that’s is really crap) , but you know when the red phone rings its going to be shit and you have to be… Read more »

Airborne

It’s a stable weapons platform, with decent height and storage, but, like any other relatively lightweight 4×4, you hit an IED, the default setting is driver loses legs and gunner in the back need to get low, or gets crushed. But, it’s a damn site better than the WMIK. However given the choice, if it’s a humvee or a Jackel, give me Jackel every time. Cheers.

Daveyb

Never really understood the fascination of the Humvee. We had a couple of armoured ones in Iraq. You could just about get four people in them with all the kit. The center gearbox was massive and took up so much space. The ergonomics were worse than a landy and it had the turning circle of an oil tanker. With all the bolt on armour plus turret, it was also very slow, the armour added literally a ton of weight, the turret about half that. The turret with the glass windows was useful however. Thankfully in Afghan we got rid of… Read more »

Joe16

I’ve heard really good things about the Foxhound, was disappointed that it lost out to the JLTV for the replacement programme. Hopefully, with all the problems the JLTV programme is apparently having, Foxhound may get another look in- especially with all the buy British sentiment around!

Daniele Mandelli

Foxhound is already in service. I’d read too it was to go by 2024.

It was to equip 6 “Light Protected Mobility” Battalions at one point in 1 Div. That set up was abandoned, I don’t know why.

Joe16

Hi Daniele, thanks for the extra info. I knew it was in service- but my understanding was it was UOR and not set to be held onto long term in any great numbers. Wasn’t aware of the 1 Div plan, even if it has since been discarded. The JLTV is supposed to be the general/ubiquitous version of what the Foxhound does, right?

Daniele Mandelli

It was an UOR, my understanding is that it, Coyote, Huskey, Ridgeback, Mastiff, were all brought into core, along with stuff like Base ISTAR and the route clearance stuff used by the RE.

Yes, battalions like 1RI at Tern Hill had it. I was disappointed to read the plan was shelved, as it was a quick way to get some armour into a light Infantry battalion with none. Which is most of our infantry sadly.

Joe16

Ah, fair enough. I’m glad they didn’t just chuck them, although all those different types must be a bit of a maintenance headache…
I have to admit, I’m not really sure why we have so much light role infantry anymore; one of the real differentiating factors of the western front in WWII was that we had an unsightly amount of motorised transport and the Germans really didn’t; I’m not sure why we still have infantry units that don’t have organic transport (this is my understanding of the term light role infantry- is that right?) 75 years later…

Daniele Mandelli

I think they have organic transport insofar as having trucks, Land Rovers, and so on.

It’s money Joe. Even in the 80s Cold War with 56 Infantry Battalions I think 15 were mechanized, first with 432s then supplemented with Warrior.

Dern

Yeah, Light Role infantry have organic transport in the form of TCV Man Trucks, Land Rovers and WIMIKs. The salient point is that you can’t drive a Man Truck near a contact.

Joe16

Quite, which to me makes them not suitable as front line troops (removing marines, paras, SF from the equation). If they can’t manouevre into and out of the fight, then they’re never going to keep up and they’re going to get mauled before they get into a position to do anything useful.

Joe16

Sorry, for some reason didn’t get a notification of your reply… Fair enough, I understand now. That makes some sense, but I see fewer and fewer situations where being trucked into a general engagement area for dismount and combat is particularly viable. That lack of mobility and protection leaves you vulnerable to almost everything on a modern battlefield, peer opponent or not, with no benefits beyond (perhaps) being slightly harder to spot. But I read an article the other day saying that units during US exercises had located the OPFOR easily and accurately by their EM emissions and hammered them… Read more »

Harry Bulpit

They figured it was a rather pointless organisation and that light infantry was more desirable. However, any units deploying to Afghanistan do a training course on foxhound keeping the skills alive.

Daniele Mandelli

That’s interesting Harry. They’re still Light Infantry once they dismount, so what was not desirable over some armour and a RWS? Maybe it was an organisational thing? Too small a section?

Harry Bulpit

That. But it also means you need to worry about the vehicle when dismounted and its logistics trail. Plus they are still fairly noticeable. Wouldn’t be much use in a Falklands scenario.

Daniele Mandelli

No, I was not imagining they would be. I was thinking more along the lines of a wheeled armoured vehicle driving from the UK to Eastern Europe. We had this before, 6 battalions of Saxon in the late 80s and 90s. Better than trucks surely.

Harry

That’s what strike should be for. 1st div is supposed to carry out garrison duties and not war fighting, as such the need for rapid deployment isn’t that pressing.

Harry Bulpit

Also in defensive terms mechanised infantry of any type aren’t all that good.

Daveyb

There were a couple of early teething issues with Foxhound. The most notable one was that the engine used to overheat when it got above 50C. Our two never had that issue. However, one did have the fuse box melt whilst on the way to a village meeting and the other used to cut out when driving. We found the head gasket leaking after realizing how many times the coolant needed topping up. It never overheated though, which in hindsight was a bit weird. I guess the leak was quite slow and whilst doing the daily inspections, you’d top up… Read more »

Joe16

Thanks for the insight, sounds like a fairly decent vehicle all things considered- especially with a bit of development! Would make for a good British buy then?

DaveyB

Personnaly, I’d say yes, but I’ve not seen or played with the JLTV to make a judgement on it. The JLTV gun carrier still looks a bit wimpy compared to the Foxhound.

Joe16

All the more reason to go with Foxhound!

Daniele Mandelli

Davey, regarding my comment, do you know why the LPM Battalion plans were dropped?

DaveyB

Nope, not heard anything recently. As far as I know the LPM still appears as part of 1DIV’s order of battle.

Daniele Mandelli

Interesting.

AndyCee

Daniele

I think the plan with Foxhounds is that they are issued to Light Role Bns as needed rather than as organic to every one. In other words, “whole fleet management” being used to cover the lack of numbers of the vehicles.

Given the army has close on 400 and was (is?) going to buy nearly 900 JLTVs, am puzzled why they don’t simply buy 500 Foxhounds instead of the JLTVs, but then I’m not in MOD Procurement!

Daniele Mandelli

Hi Andy. So that’s it.

OK, so the majority are in storage. Was called JAMES I believe.
They discovered that trick a while back didn’t they.

Interestingly, saw a piece today on Ashchurch. Looks like it is being retained and the dilapidated hangers leaking like sieves are being refurbed to allow CHE storage.

AndyCee

JAMES is basically a civilian ERP solution used to track components and whole pieces of equipment.

The biggest issue is the cap badge mafia and politics meaning that the enabling Corps get cut and the army is left with too many infantry battalions that are less mobile than those from WW2. Might as well equip them with muskets and refrain to fight Waterloo again!

Daniele Mandelli

Agree. I have highlighted that here many times.
Cut the CS and CSS formations. They were at it again in A2020R.

Dern

Back in ’18 my battalion was in the LPM/Light Role.
IRRC we had 1 Coy in Foxhounds and 2 in TCV’s, Mortars in Huskies. No idea on how that evolved since ’18 though.

Daniele Mandelli

Dern, could Mortar Platoon fire from the vehicle, or did they have to dismount?

pkcasimir

The JLTV program is not having problems, apparent or otherwise. The US Army and Marines love them and the Army plans to buy 50,000 of them. What has happened is that the US DOD needs money for higher priority programs to combat China and has taken money out of this program by slowing the production rate to clear financing for other programs.

Herodotus

Is there any news on the Oshkosh JLTV front. There seems to have been little mention of it since the MOD was revealed to be interested in a joint US/UK buy back in 2016!

Joe16

A question that we’ve been discussing a little! I read a while back that there were some issues with cost increases for the vehicle, which may have made the MOD step back from single sourcing it. One thing I read said it was a rather significant increase too, at which point the justification for not going with Foxhound is basically gone.
But as you say, nothing recent. The stuff I just mentioned was last year sometime…

Lordtemplar

Hopefully post covid, they will select Foxhound instead of JTLV to boost local economy.

Glass Half Full

I had read similar comments from a Defence Committee meeting. Your comment prompted me to investigate where JLTV cost is at today. The US DoD FY 2021 budget request is showing a JLTV unit cost at ~$324K per vehicle for FY2020 and FY2021. While there are likely to be additional costs beyond these and the FMS to the UK may carry some premium, the JLTV cost still seems likely to come in at a third that of the Foxhound, which was the original reason for the UK commitment to JLTV. It would be nice to buy British but we keep… Read more »

AndyCee

I thought I’d read somewhere that the all in cost for JLTV was getting closer to $700k per unit, in which case the differential is much lower.

I’ll see if I can track down the article as otherwise it could just be my mind playing tricks

AndyCee
Glass Half Full

Thanks for the link Andy. Certainly if JLTV is going to cost the UK $700k then hopefully some sharpening of pencils at GDLS to produce a more attractive price for Foxhound than the very high original cost of £900k, perhaps in combination with IIRC a lower cost armour(?) might make it a reasonable buy, since presumably there should be minimal additional RDT&E. The problem is we don’t have a very good source for that $700k JLTV price point and I haven’t seen anything better than £900k or $1,134k for Foxhound at current exchange rates. The source I am using for… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

“It would be nice to buy British but we keep indulging in self inflicted wounds in terms of capabilities by paying massive premiums for doing so.”

Agree. I keep banging on about this. We need a balance between quality and quantity, and a balance in price.

It is the only way I see numbers being increased, even slightly.

AndyCee

So yeah, maybe look at Foxhound and various Supacat vehicles (Jackal and coyote variants) for the light armoured/MRV-P fleets rather than JLTV and Bushmaster.
Supacat even make a Discovery based utility vehicle that could replace ancient land rovers. Keep all the manufacturing in country and there are hidden benefits too.
Granted, Foxhound is made by GDLS but it is manufactured in UK. That way £1bn isn’t spent in the US with Oshkosh on the JLTV but spent in the UK…

Glass Half Full

Balance – the key word. I’m not averse to buying UK but if we are forcing the MoD to be funding a jobs program on most major programs then perhaps we ought to be doing the same for every other govt. department.

Perhaps the NHS should be buying all British on PPE, drugs, beds, machines that go ping, whatever. At least in part it arguably should for strategic reasons alone after recent experiences. But maybe we would then find out how that would drive up NHS costs if we insist everything should be UK sourced.

JohnHartley

Defensenews is saying the British Army will get rid of 750 Mastiff, Ridgeback & Wolfhound. Usual guff about right sizing. Seems like a defence cut to me. Spin that they will be replaced by 500 Boxer, but not until 2023. Better not do any foreign operations until then.