No visit to Supacat is complete without a drive around the Test Track!
Meeting up with Supacat Test Driver Andy Roberts and Jamie Clarke, the Editor was taken for drive around the course to show the layout and the pitfalls.
Named the ‘Coyote’ by the UK MoD, the HMT 600 series pushes the mobility levels of support type platforms to another level. Using the HMT variable height air suspension system, the 600 will match the 400’s impressive cross-country performance yet provides a significant increase in payload.
As with its smaller 400 series sister, the 600 can be supplied with an optional mine blast and ballistic protection kit and can be fitted with a variety of mission specific hampers, weapons, communications, ISTAR and force protection equipment to suit a wide range of operational roles.
The Coyote has a sister vehicle – Extenda, developed for use by Special Forces. Extenda provides a unique ‘convertible’ platform.
Using the HMT variable height air suspension system, Extenda matches the capabilities of the 400 and 600 series sister platforms yet can be configured as a 4×4 or 6×6 to meet the operational need by fitting or removing a modular, self-contained third axle unit. The hamper has also been designed as a modular system to enable rapid conversion.
Like the other HMT series variants, the Extenda can be supplied with an optional mine blast and ballistic protection kit and can be fitted with a variety of mission hampers, weapons, communications, ISTAR and force protection equipment to suit a wide range of operational roles.
The Coyote and Extenda have been sold to the UK, Australia , Norway and Denmark
The Coyote weighs 10500 kgs and has a payload of 3900 kgs with a length of 7040 mm and is powered by a Cummins 6.7L Diesel Engine giving 700 Nm of Torque connected to an Allison 5 speed automatic gearbox giving a top speed of 120kph, which the Editor witnessed when following Andy Roberts to the Track!
The Test Drive
Having had the Track Brief, the Editor was then let lose to conduct the Test Drive. The obvious power and torque of the engine/gearbox combination gives the Coyote a surefooted experience with the vehicle holding the track at high speed without any suspicion of losing control. The 6×6 configuration gives the Coyote considerable advantage to 4×4 vehicles as it gives tremendous power to the back end when traversing steep hills, it just sticks to them like glue.
The combination of limited slip differentials and a two pedal braking system allows the driver to stop on hills and stay in position using the brakes and gearbox and to either reverse up or continue down the hill. The excellent cross country capability is enhanced with the addition of the ability to put the vehicle in 4×4 or 6×6 configuration at the switch of a switch together with a high or low ratio option. Together with the independently air assisted suspension, which also allows the vehicle to be raised or lowered again at the flick of a switch, gives the Coyote the cross country performance of a tracked vehicle with the versatility of as wheeled vehicle.
The excellent payload coupled to a large loading area makes Coyote an ideal vehicle for weapon mounts or systems.
After several laps of the Test Track it became perfectly clear why Coyote has become the vehicle of choice for the world’s Special Forces!
(Photos: Jamie Clarke, Supacat)