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17 May 07. S. MacNeillie & Son, the West Midlands based armoured and security vehicle bodybuilder, has rolled out its own design to meet current and future military Protected Patrol Vehicle requirements, such as that for the UK MoD. The MACS (Military Armoured Carrier System) concept has been developed to be adaptable for a number of specifications, configurations, protection levels, payloads – and gross weights from 9.5 – 14 tonnes. The company also plans to manufacture and assemble the new unit at its Walsall plant. MACS will be formally launched at DVD, the vehicle has already created a deal of overseas interest.

Starting from a clean sheet – and in only a few months – MacNeillie engineers have designed, built and fully integrated a versatile monocoque armoured body shell, with a standard COTS (Commercial Off The Self) high mobility 4×4 powertrain, running gear and componentry. The base level vehicle can be deployed as a protected personnel carrier – or progressively up-armoured and up-rated to provide higher levels of protection and payload capacity if required. The design is also capable of accommodating a wide range of equipment, both internally and externally – and other variants of the basic platform may follow.

MacNeillie Engineering Director, Chris Taylor says, “We have a wealth of experience in the design and build of armoured and protected bodies for a range of vehicle applications. The MACS concept draws on all that specialist knowledge – and then integrates standard COTS components. We believe that this approach offers military users a better solution than starting with a complete proprietary production vehicle – and then trying to upgrade its protection to meet operational requirements”.

The basic monocoque body shell is built of high grade steel, armoured with up to 6.5 nominal steel and spall liner, giving ballistics and blast protection to acknowledged international standards. The specification can be significantly upgraded, with the addition of appliqué armour – and special V-shaped belly plates and wheel-arch protection, to mitigate IED threats. In addition, body width of the basic vehicle has been contained within the track, to allow stand-off protection to be carried without excessive overhang. Wheel and tyre equipment incorporates standard, in-service run-flat systems.

“We have quite deliberately taken a staged and modular approach to the programme. At one level, military users and procurement organisations want a COTS solution, which is fully supportable from the integrated logistics standpoint. But they also need to achieve the right balance for the role between protection levels, payload capability, performance and mobility”, says Chris Taylor. “The operational demands and conditions in theatre may be very different from those encountered during a normal peacekeeping mission. We believe that the new MACS vehicle system offers a practical and cost-effective way to cover both operational requirements – with one vehicle concept, upgradeable as required”.

Despite its internal volume and capacity, the overall dimensions of the MACS PPV are compact for class – 5770mm long, 2360mm wide and 2445mm high – not least to meet air portability and C130 compatibility requirements. The 3270mm wheelbase provides optimum weight distribution and balance, whilst giving steep approach and departure angles front and rear of over 40º – and a break-over angle of almost 30º. Subject to operational configuration and equipment inventory, gross weight can be constrained to enable heli-lift by CH47 rotorcraft.

Internal accommodation is generous, allowing seated accommodation for driver and commander – plus up to seven troops. Dimensions are based on minimum 100 percentile plus personnel, with full battle kit and weaponry. A range of seat options, configurations and mounting arrangements will be available. Importantly, the centre of gravity – and thus the double-skinned f

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