HRH The Duke of Kent visits Supacat and opens the Ames Building

Today HRH The Duke of Kent visited Supacat, the innovative design house and world leading specialist in high mobility vehicles, at its Dunkeswell, Devon based facility.

During the visit HRH unveiled a plaque and formally opened the new `Ames Building`, which provides a modern, productive office environment for staff. The building is named after Supacat’s Managing Director, Nick Ames, who since joining in 2002, has overseen the company’s expansion and transformation into a Prime Contractor to the UK Ministry of Defence. The Ames Building joins the Clayton and the Jones Buildings, which honour the company’s joint founders, David Clayton and Nick Jones.

The visit was hosted by Nick Jones, and Director and General Manager, Mick Halloran, who gave a presentation to HRH on the company’s current focus.

“We briefed HRH on how we are now supporting a 600 strong military vehicle fleet and on the outstanding reliability and capability `Jackal` and `Coyote` have delivered in theatre in Afghanistan. HRH also heard about our continuing development of the new Supacat Protected Vehicle SPV400 and how we are actively marketing it internationally. We also talked about our diversification into new markets outside defence”, said Mick Halloran.

Supacat has applied its `hostile environment’ engineering skills to win its first contract with a major company in the Oil and Gas sector and its first renewable energy project. The company is developing a wave hub device and proposed a solution for improving safety for maintenance technicians accessing offshore wind turbines.

In a tour of the facility HRH, who is President of the RNLI, had the opportunity to inspect the first pre-production Lifeboat Launch & Recovery System (L&RS). The L&RS has been custom designed by Supacat in association with the RNLI to transport the new class of all-weather lifeboat, currently in development, over some of the UK’s most demanding beaches.

To conclude the visit HRH took a test drive in an HMT400, dubbed `Jackal`, the Supacat designed high mobility patrol vehicle, whose supreme off road performance and speed have been acclaimed by British troops operating in the harsh terrain of Afghanistan. The HMT 400 is also used by numerous Special Forces worldwide.

“The visit by HRH The Duke of Kent has been an honour for Supacat, where everyone has worked hard over recent years to deliver vital equipment to support our Armed Forces. I trust we also demonstrated how innovative and agile companies like Supacat can re-apply their skills to solve diverse engineering challenges, and at a time when it is important to reduce our reliance on defence,” said Nick Jones.


Supacat highlights SPV400 versatility, protection and mobility.

IDEX, Abu Dhabi, UAE
20-24 February 2011
Supacat Stand: 05-C20

The new Supacat SPV400 protected light vehicle is being shown for the first time in the Middle East on 20 February at IDEX 2011, Abu Dhabi, where its versatility and groundbreaking levels of protection and mobility will be highlighted to the region’s armed forces and NGO organisations.
For a vehicle in the 7.5 ton class the SPV400 has the blast and ballistic protection levels typical of vehicles over twice its weight, yet has agility, speed and outstanding cross country performance. It can reach speeds up to 80mph on the desert plain but can manoeuvre in tight urban environments, inaccessible to heavier vehicles. Air suspension ensures a smooth ride over extreme terrain and conventional steering reduces complexity.
High mobility military vehicle specialist, Supacat, has developed the SPV400 using a modular and future-proofed design, which can be upgraded to meet evolving threats and requirements. It can be configured to perform a variety of roles, such as logistic, reconnaissance or ambulance, with the crew pod easily replaced with a new mission module.
Purpose designed to counter the Improvised Explosive Device threat, the SPV400 boasts an integrated blast and ballistic protection system. The system was designed by the composite armour protection specialist, NP Aerospace, using materials offering high levels of protection from a range of threats at a much lower weight than a traditional steel design. The crew pod is constructed as a separate module, sealed off from potential secondary projectiles, such as kit and electronic devices, which are housed in a rear compartment. All seats are mine blast protected.

“The SPV400 is a clean sheet design which has crew survivability built in from the outset to provide the protection and mobility necessary to meet the threat from Improvised Explosive Devices”, said Nick Ames, Managing Director, Supacat.

Additional protection is provided by the front and rear axles, which are mounted on detachable `sacrificial` sub-frames to absorb and deflect a blast away from the crew pod if a wheel strikes an explosive device. To enable this approach, the engine and transmission are separated to ensure the crew pod is not impacted should the front sub-frame detach. This modular approach also enables rapid in-theatre repair should a vehicle be involved in an incident. The affected module(s) can be quickly replaced enhancing the availability and maintainability of deployed platforms.

The SPV400 will be displayed on the UKTI stand at IDEX outfitted with integrated mission systems provided by SELEX Galileo to demonstrate its mission systems integration expertise. The systems include the SELEX Galileo driver’s night vision system and local situational awareness system, both of which outfit existing UK Army vehicles. These link with SELEX Communications internal comms and ECM systems and an EOS Raven remote weapons station into a seamless mission package.


This website will store cookies on your computer. We use cookies to improve your browsing experience (we never store personal information in a cookie) and to track how the site is being used. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.