The Blog


10:17 AM, Jan 17, 2007 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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It was announced yesterday that the Marine Corps had ordered 15 additional Cougar Joint Explosive Ordnance Disposal Rapid Response Vehicles (JERRV) from Force Protection Inc. in a contract worth $9.4 million. In November of 2006, the Marine Corps ordered 200 Cougars to augment a total force of 300 already operating in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Cougar is a 12 ton mine protected armored patrol vehicle that has been used extensively to counter the IED threat in Iraq. Since the vehicle was first deployed in 2003, not a single soldier or Marine has been killed while patrolling in a Cougar, despite more than 1,000 IED attacks on the vehicles.

Here's a note from one Marine who was patrolling the streets of Iraq in a Cougar when it was hit by an IED:

"Just wanted to write a quick note to all of you at your company to thank you for the hard work you put into the Cougar vehicle. We are stationed in [omitted] Iraq and about 2 weeks ago our JERRV/Cougar ran over [deleted] mine coming back from a call downtown. It had been raining that night and the mines were placed in a hole filled with water. Right after the explosion, the Cougar was driven for two miles on the three remaining tires at speeds in excess of 20 mph so that we could make it to a safe area.

Once we got to the safe area we were able to survey the damage and everyone was amazed how far the vehicle had driven. The three of us inside were all okay other than slight concussions and a headache that lasted a few days. We know that if we had been in another type of vehicle that the outcome would have been much worse. We were also able to get a replacement Cougar within 24 hours. Thank you for everything and keep up the good work."

Sgt Chris Clair, USMC
EOD Team
Somewhere in Iraq
April 2006

Technology may be less important than tactics in combating the insurgency in Iraq, but this vehicle has already saved a lot of American lives. You can read more about the Cougar, and see some cool pictures and videos, at the Force Protection website.

Sgt Clair's Cougar