TAMWORTH, U.K. — Alcon Components Ltd, a leading provider of bespoke vehicle braking systems, has received a significant order from Babcock, the build partners for Supacat, to deliver 70 High Mobility Transport (HMT) vehicle braking systems.
This contract is part of the production process for 70 new Jackal vehicles for the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (UK MoD), pursuant to a contract inked between UK Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) and Supacat in February 2023.
Alcon is set to initiate production immediately and will be supplying components to Supacat and Babcock throughout the vehicle assembly process.
The bespoke braking systems in question were originally developed by Alcon in 2008 to address a challenge posed by the addition of applique armor to the UK’s Jackal and Coyote Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) vehicles.
The existing braking system was inadequate to handle the increased weight, jeopardizing safety and inflating operational costs. Alcon engineered a custom solution that incorporates calipers, discs, and friction pads. Each vehicle’s front axle features two calipers, resulting in a total of six calipers per vehicle.
Since then, Alcon has supplied these braking systems for all of the UK’s existing Jackal and Coyote HMT vehicles and extended its reach to Supacat’s international customers, including Australia and Norway. In the UK, more than 600 vehicles were procured under various UORs (urgent operational requirements) for deployment in Afghanistan and post-conflict scenarios, subsequently being integrated into the core fleet. The procurement of 70 additional HMT platforms by the UK MoD fills a critical gap in the country’s fleet requirements under the renewed Army structures.
Alcon is touting this order as a testament to its ability to provide tailored vehicle braking system support to global defense vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Its extensive experience across various global programs has established them as a credible source for top-notch bespoke braking solutions.
Alcon’s braking systems are sought after by more than 20 defense and security equipment OEMs, including Babcock, Patria, Supacat, BAE Systems, Ricardo, and Jankel, due to their capacity to meet the stringent demands of modern-day battlefields.
Chris Spicer, Managing Director of Engineering and Systems Integration at Babcock, expressed his satisfaction with the partnership, stating, “We are delighted to be working with Alcon as the provider of the braking system for the Jackal vehicle. The operational demands placed on the Jackal can be extreme, therefore, we require a dedicated team of professionals at every stage of production. In Alcon, I don’t doubt that we have the ideal partner to be working with.”
Phil Applegarth, Director and Head of Supacat, emphasized the importance of the braking system as a key vehicle component and commended Alcon’s design expertise, saying, “Alcon have designed a superb and optimal system for us. When you need a set of brakes that can stop a vehicle quickly and safely, you definitely need a trusted partner that specializes in the design of bespoke braking systems.”
Jonathan Edwards, Group Sales Director at Alcon, reflected on their longstanding partnership with Supacat and their role in solving critical braking challenges, stating, “Supacat were one of the first defense vehicle OEMs to recognize the benefits of our experience and capabilities developed at the top of motorsport and performance automotive. Now, nearly 15 years later, we remain Supacat’s braking supplier of choice.”
The collaboration between Alcon, Babcock, and Supacat underscores the significance of providing high-performance and safety solutions to military vehicles and exemplifies the enduring commitment to excellence in the defense industry.