Cougar is a design dating back to the early 21st Century, manufactured by Force Protection Inc., taken over by General Dynamics in 2011 - the vehicle is based on South African MRV designs. The vehicle was designed to address urgent operational requirements of the USMC - following the experiences gathered in Iraq.
The USMC first ordered Cougars in mid-April 2004, introducing them as HEVs (Hardened Engineer Vehicle), mainly using them to transport bomb disposal squads. As time went by, US Army and foreign users - including the UK - got interested in the design. The UK procured more than 600 examples in a variety of configurations - 4x4 and 6x6.
Cougar H 4x4 is a Category I MRUV. It features a 4x4 design, 6-persons crew, mine resistance at the level of 7 kg of TNT under the hull, and 14 kg of TNT under the wheel. Cougar's total weight is around 17 tonnes, while the vehicle offers a payload capacity of 2.5 tonnes. The vehicle is powered by a Caterpillar C-7 engine, with a power output of 243 kW [330 HP], coupled with an Allison 3500SP automatic gearbox. The operational range is defined as 966 kilometres, whereas the top speed is 105 kph.
Between 15th November 2008 and January 2009, the Polish detachment in Afghanistan received 40 Cougar 4x4 vehicles from the USMC inventory, within the framework of the ASCA memorandum (Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement). The Cougars replaced the HMMWV platforms, that had been borrowed earlier.