28 Jun 06. Hobson Industries, the leading specialist armourers for Land Rovers and other military vehicles used its extensive knowledge in building vehicles for Northern Ireland in particular to launch the Hobson Ranger Land Rover vehicle at DVD.
Ranger is armoured to Stanag Level 1 on a 4.1 tonne gross chassis that gives the vehicle a large interior given the use of advanced materials.
“We are using a totally new ceramic armour developed by U.S. textile specialist Milliken. In addition the Ranger has a foam filled, blast resistant false wall on the side of the vehicle that absorbs the first hit from an RPG thus preventing any fragmentation or shock in the interior. Ranger is available in either a 3.5 V8 Petrol or TD5 Diesel 24v suppressed variants are also available and, like the 300TDi MOD version, has a full through life support package. These power train options enable the Pod to be fitted to existing vehicles using Hobson Industries Vehicle Reconditioning Asset Management Through Life support programmes.
The vehicle is fitted with a full fire protection package and, with its improvised weapon and RPG trigger plates, it gives significant protection against most hand held terrorist weapon threats. A transparent armoured glass system has been developed in conjunction with Romag to enhance repairability replacement in the field.
The vehicles’ modular construction ensures that all transparent armour, steel armour, Macrolon shrouds and steel fixtures are completely interchangeable between vehicles and a full support package is available to meet operational requirements worldwide.
The vehicle is fitted with a Coolair high output air conditioning system and a Webasto 3.5KW demountable heating system which is designed on a Fitted For But Not With option so that the vehicles’ world wide multi role crew environment is flexible enough to meet most theatres of operation.
In conjunction with AML UK, new materials have been embodied within the protection package to reduce weight and improve hit survivability.
The monocoque design construction gives considerable chassis rigidity whilst handling has been enhanced with uprated shockers anti roll bars enabling the vehicle to cope with most patrol scenarios. The design concept has been developed on “mobility is safety” with run on inserts providing outstanding survivability to move out of harms way. Hobson Industries is on Stand No W7
In addition to the Ranger, Hobson were also showing a new bolt-on armour kit to enhance the protection on existing standard Land Rovers used for non-combatant usage. “We contacted a Russian General and he said that the most danger to his troops was caused by snipers firing on vehicles delivering food and other non-lethal equipment to forward troops.”
Hobson would not name a price for this kit as it was shortly to be competed by the MoD.