Today HRH The Duke of Kent visited Supacat, the innovative design house and world leading specialist in high mobility vehicles, at its Dunkeswell, Devon based facility.
During the visit HRH unveiled a plaque and formally opened the new `Ames Building`, which provides a modern, productive office environment for staff. The building is named after Supacat’s Managing Director, Nick Ames, who since joining in 2002, has overseen the company’s expansion and transformation into a Prime Contractor to the UK Ministry of Defence. The Ames Building joins the Clayton and the Jones Buildings, which honour the company’s joint founders, David Clayton and Nick Jones.
The visit was hosted by Nick Jones, and Director and General Manager, Mick Halloran, who gave a presentation to HRH on the company’s current focus.
“We briefed HRH on how we are now supporting a 600 strong military vehicle fleet and on the outstanding reliability and capability `Jackal` and `Coyote` have delivered in theatre in Afghanistan. HRH also heard about our continuing development of the new Supacat Protected Vehicle SPV400 and how we are actively marketing it internationally. We also talked about our diversification into new markets outside defence”, said Mick Halloran.
Supacat has applied its `hostile environment’ engineering skills to win its first contract with a major company in the Oil and Gas sector and its first renewable energy project. The company is developing a wave hub device and proposed a solution for improving safety for maintenance technicians accessing offshore wind turbines.
In a tour of the facility HRH, who is President of the RNLI, had the opportunity to inspect the first pre-production Lifeboat Launch & Recovery System (L&RS). The L&RS has been custom designed by Supacat in association with the RNLI to transport the new class of all-weather lifeboat, currently in development, over some of the UK’s most demanding beaches.
To conclude the visit HRH took a test drive in an HMT400, dubbed `Jackal`, the Supacat designed high mobility patrol vehicle, whose supreme off road performance and speed have been acclaimed by British troops operating in the harsh terrain of Afghanistan. The HMT 400 is also used by numerous Special Forces worldwide.
“The visit by HRH The Duke of Kent has been an honour for Supacat, where everyone has worked hard over recent years to deliver vital equipment to support our Armed Forces. I trust we also demonstrated how innovative and agile companies like Supacat can re-apply their skills to solve diverse engineering challenges, and at a time when it is important to reduce our reliance on defence,” said Nick Jones.