Up above is Land Rover's Snatch LPPV (Lightly Protected Patrol Vehicle), a modified version of the Defender that the British armed forces are using in Afghanistan. While the rugged 4x4 is fine for traversing tough terrain, it's ill-suited for and vulnerable to the constant IED attacks its occupants typically come under.
The UK's Defence Equipment & Support organization, under the Ministry of Defence, is thus looking for a replacement for the LPPV, one featuring a design more in tune with what their soldiers are facing today. At the 2009 Defence Systems and Equipment International exhibition earlier this month, four companies displayed their contenders, shown below:
The Supacat Protected Vehicle has a V-shaped hull to better disperse explosions coming from underneath, as well as "mine-blast seats" and wheel axle assemblies "mounted in sacrificial sub frames, fore and aft of the hull, designed to blow off in the event of a wheel mine blast." The crew is encased in an integrated, protective "pod" constructed from composite and ceramic armor.
The Ocelot Light Armored Vehicle takes manufacturing and logistics into account; rather than being just one vehicle, the Ocelot is comprised of "a core automotive armored spine or 'skateboard', onto which one of a number of alternative special to role 'pods' is mounted." The flexibility of this approach means that pods can be swapped out as needed in the field (for patrol, fire support, logistics, etc.), reducing the need to stock each vehicle separately and reducing maintenance. The Ocelot also features the V-shaped hull.
The Zephyr, like the Supacat, also encases its riders in an "occupant survival cell" protected compartment, and also utilizes blast-absorbing suspended seats. The Zephyr is also configured to carry a variety of roof-mounted devices like weapons stations or communication gear, and the entire vehicle is designed to be slung under a CH-47 helicopter for transport.
Finally, the Armored Multi Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) will come in two flavors, a smaller, agile AMPV-1 to serve as a "liaison vehicle" and a larger, bulkier AMPV-2 with a larger payload and heavier armor. Both vehicles integrate the "safety cell" concept seen in the competition, and both will use identical mechanical components to reduce maintenance.
via defense update