Cougar JERRV

The Cougar, and the very similar Joint Explosive-Ordnance-Disposal Rapid Response Vehicle (JERRV), are described as hardened engineering vehicles, with Level I armor protection, produced in three models each. All 6x6 Cougars and JERRVs are classed as Category II Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles while the 4x4 version is Category I MRAP.

1st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, II Marine Expeditionary Force Cougar H 4x4 vehicle, Al Taqaddum Air Base, Al Anbar province, Iraq, 25 February 2007
1st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, II Marine Expeditionary Force Cougar H 4x4 vehicle, Al Taqaddum Air Base, Al Anbar province, Iraq, 25 February 2007.

Today in WW II: 15 Nov 1943 German SS leader Heinrich Himmler orders Gypsies and those of mixed Gypsy blood to be 'on the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps'.   

Cougar and Joint EOD Rapid Response Vehicle (JERRV) History

The design of the Cougar/JERRV originated with a firm in South Africa and has been sold in the U.S. as the "Lion" or "Typhoon" by Force Protection Industries of Charleston, SC (FPI). The Cougar was marketed in the United Kingdom as the "Tempest." By 2004, it was known as the Cougar by the U.S. military.

In April 2004, Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) awarded a sole-source contract to FPI for 28 Cougars that began arriving in Iraq by late fall 2004. The Cougar was available in the 4x4 design and the 6x6 design. Both designs are used for ordnance disposal, communications, command and control, and leading convoy missions. Similar to the Buffalo, the Cougar has an armored V-shaped hull that deflects outward the blast from an improvised explosive device (IED), increasing the chance of survival for those inside the vehicle. The vehicles in-theater have an excellent record for crew protection and survival.

In May 2005, MCSC became the procuring service for the Cougar for all military services. The Cougar became a joint service vehicle known as the Joint EOD Rapid Response Vehicle (JERRV). In May 2005, MCSC awarded a sole-source contract to FPI for 122 JERRVs. In May 2006, MCSC awarded a second sole-source contract to FPI for 79 JERRVs. In mid-November 2006, MCSC awarded a third sole-source contract to FPI for 200 JERRVs as part of the MRAP program. Under accelerated efforts in 2007, another 65 4x4 and 60 6x6 Cougars were ordered in January, followed by a series of orders adding vehicles almost monthly raising the totals above 500 vehicles. Additional Cougar/JERRVs in various configurations were ordered by Canada and the UK.

Joint EOD Rapid Response Vehicle (JERRV) Description

There are three configurations of the JERRV vehicles. Among the minor differences between the Cougar and the JERRV, the Cougar has firing ports while the JERRV does not. The JERRV has a ring mount for crew served weapons.

The 6x6 can mount a 10,500 lb. winch. All vehicles have run-flat tires and CTIS. The diesel engines can burn JP-8 with downgraded performance. Vehicle seats have four-point harnesses to hold the passengers in place if they hit an IED.

The vertical armor will stop 7.62 x 51mm ball ammunition, and the windows will stop AP. The vehicles can withstand up to 30lbs. TNT under any wheel or 15lbs. under the V-shaped centerline.

Joint EOD Rapid Response Vehicle (JERRV) Characteristics

  6x6 EOD 6x6 Engineer (HE) 4x4 EOD (H)
Max Vehicle Weight 52,000lbs 52,000lbs 36,000lbs
Gross Vehicle Weight 52,000lbs 52,000lbs 36,000lbs
Payload 12,000lbs 12,000lbs 4,250lbs
Length 294 in. 294 in. 228 in.
Width 108 in. 108 in. 104 in.
Height 130 in. 130 in. 103 in.
Crew + Pax 4 10 4
Chassis Spartan Spartan Spartan
Diesel Engine Caterpillar Caterpillar Caterpillar
Transmission 6 spd Allison 3500SP 6 spd Allison 3500SP 6 spd Allison 3500SP

The EOD vehicles carry an assortment of EOD equipment, such as bomb disposal robots, and all the other gear needed for EOD work, including 70-pound bomb suits. The JERRV also has multiple optical camera capabilities providing day and night vision, as well as forward looking infra-red technology that allows better visibility of the surroundings.

The JERRV air conditioning system has been criticized. It recirculates air in the passenger compartment which does not work well in the extreme heat of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Marine Sgt. Jason Tinnel on a 4x4 Cougar, near Fallujah, Iraq, 20 December 2004
Marine Sgt. Jason Tinnel on a 4x4 Cougar, near Fallujah, Iraq, 20 December 2004.

4x4 Joint EOD Rapid Response Vehicle (JERRV)
4x4 Joint EOD Rapid Response Vehicle (JERRV).

6x6 Joint EOD Rapid Response Vehicle (JERRV), Camp Fallujah, Iraq, May 2007
6x6 Joint EOD Rapid Response Vehicle (JERRV), Camp Fallujah, Iraq, May 2007.

SGT Neil Fucci (right) and squad in 6x6 Engineer (HE) JERRV, along the Iraq-Syria boarder, late 2005
SGT Neil Fucci (right) and squad in 6x6 Engineer (HE) JERRV, along the Iraq-Syria boarder, late 2005.

6x6 EOD JERRV (note window and storage configuration), Balad Air Base, Iraq, April 2007
6x6 EOD JERRV (note window and storage configuration), Balad Air Base, Iraq, April 2007.

BU3 Marsha Helgerson, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4 Convoy Security Element, mans the M240B 7.62mm Machine Gun in the turret of the 6x6 Engineer (HE) JERRV, Camp Ramadi, Iraq, May 2007
BU3 Marsha Helgerson, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4 Convoy Security Element, mans the M240B 7.62mm Machine Gun in the turret of the 6x6 Engineer (HE) JERRV, Camp Ramadi, Iraq, May 2007.