Canadian American Strategic Review


Special Ops





Background – Special Forces Vehicles – CANSOFCOM  SOV Update

Update:  Media articles suggest that Supacat's Jackal is all but a shoe-in (probably true from the outset of  SOV ). But at least two bidders are still involved at this stage. AM General has now pulled out of the SOV contest eliminating their GMV 'Dumvee' family from the running.

Supacat Jackals or 'Dumvees'?  –  New Special Operations Vehicles for CANSOFCOM
According to David Pugliese –  who has written extensively on  Canadian special forces – the competition for new Special Operations Vehicles  has been narrowed to two unnamed candidates. A G-Wagen based SOV has either been eliminated or was never in the running. That leaves an updated  Humvee, the GMV-S  'Dumvee', or  the British  Supacat Jackal MWMIK.

Proven service  is one demand  of  the  Special Operations Vehicle SOIQ. The Supacat Jackal is in service with  British Army  Pathfinders in Afghanistan (right). The US Humvee has long been used by special forces, the latest version being the Ground Mobility Vehicle - S. [1] The GMV was dubbed 'Dumvee'  to distinguish the new model Humvee from older variants – such as the special forces M1113/M1117 HMMWVs now in use with both JTF-2 and CSOR.

GMV-S 'Dumvee' – Ground Mobility Vehicle - SOF
The Ground Mobility Vehicle is the latest version of Humvee.  Like most special forces vehicles, the 'SOF' GMV is open-topped with a weapons ring  built  into the tubular  turn-over cage.  As with the Rheinmetall Wolf, the passenger-side windshield pane is omitted, allowing a forward-firing gun. Other swing-out guns can mount  to the sides. An earlier, more Jackal-like Humvee derivative (left) was trialed [2] so there's no reason that a CF GMV-S couldn't  follow that layout.

Having already determined that Jackal has little commonality with any in-service CF vehicle, we must examine the Humvee. Since the Humvee is already  in  CANSOFCOM service, there is built-in commonality. But the GMV-S has a different engine used  by no in-service CF vehicle. [3]  The requirement  for  logistics, ambulance, and other specialty vehicles is easier to satisfy since a wide range of Humvee shelters will mount on to GMV-S 'Dumvees'. How mobile they would then be is another matter.

By contrast, the Jackal is based on Supacat's HMT 400 all-terrain load carrier. Using the HMT 400 or the related HMT 600 would solve the specialty vehicle requirement as would adapting the Jackal itself. That is made simple by  Supacat's Extenda add-on module which converts  the Jackal (or HMT ) from 4x4 to 6x6 in less than two hours. Commonality scores few points –  the Cummins 6BT diesel  is not in CF use.

The SOIQ seemed to point to the Jackal but the demands of  such documents tend  to be ignored when inconvenient.  A possible hint lies in an NPP for CANSOFCOM forklifts. As it  happens, these "RT" forklifts are just what would be required  to install and dismount an Extenda module. This forklift request may be coincidence but its timing is most interesting.

[1] GMV-S is for 'Special Operations Forces'. Other special ops Dumvee variants are GMV-R (for Rangers) and GMV-N (for Navy SEALs).

[2] The Alvis Shadow was based on the earlier  M1113 ECV  (Extended Capability Vehicle)  Humvee.  Other than easier access and egress, the stripped-down layout of the Shadow allowed two of these recce vehicles to be carried  inside a ChinookShadow was not a success.

[3] The first generation Humvees had General Motors Duramax diesels. The GMV-S uses AM General's 6.5L 190 hp Optimizer 6500 diesel.