Ocelot on the loose
It’s awesome fun, and no, you can’t have one, writes Mark Hinchliffe
IT HAS a Falcon automatic gearbox, can run on jet fuel, has an F1 engineering pedigree and will withstand a bomb blast . . . but you can’t buy one.
The Ocelot light armoured vehicle, one of three shortlisted vehicles for the Defence Forces, has had its first Australian test run ahead of the multi-million-dollar Land Warfare Conference at the Brisbane Convention Centre this week.
Designed and built by military suppliers Force Protection and Formula One-experienced Ricardo Engineering in the UK, the Ocelot has a steel spine chassis that protects the occupants, engine and drivetrain from mine explosions.
Force Protection spokesman Max Pengelley says California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who bought a military Humvee and spawned the Hummer civilian range, hasn’t asked for one . . . yet.
‘‘I doubt we will make a civilian version, but we have had requests for an amphibian version,’’ he says at the Scenic Rim Adventure Park near Beaudesert, where the vehicle went through its off-road paces.
On the prowl: the UK-built Ocelot is one of three light armoured vehicles that are vying for a contract from the Australian Defence Forces.