|Land Rover Snatch
The Land Rover Snatch-Vixen vehicle on show at the Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) Equipment Demonstration in Salisbury, Wiltshire.
|Place of origin
||£50,000 + armour 
Snatch-2 12v, LHD
Snatch-2A 24v, RHD
Snatch-2B 24v, RHD
||4,050 kilograms (8,930 lb)
||4.55 metres (14 ft 11 in)
||1.79 metres (5 ft 10 in)
||2.03 metres (6 ft 8 in)
|none - personal weapons carried by "top cover"
||Land Rover 300 Tdi engine
111 horsepower (83 kW)
|510 kilometres (320 mi)
||60 miles per hour (97 km/h)
The Snatch Land Rover is a protected patrol vehicle based on the Land Rover Defender 110 chassis. Intended for general patrolling in low-threat areas, it is the successor to the Truck Utility Medium (TUM) with Vehicle Protection Kit (VPK). The vehicle was developed in 1992 for use in Northern Ireland. It provides some degree of small arms protection for occupants and a limited level of protection from Improvised Explosive Devices and off-route mines.
The vehicle has been criticized as occupant deaths have resulted from kinetic attacks which exceeded the level of protection available.
The Snatch is based on the Land Rover Heavy Duty Chassis, a militarised version of the Defender 110 (similar to the Land Rover Wolf). It was originally procured for use in Northern Ireland by the British Army. and was first introduced in 1992.
Officially designated, Truck Utility Medium (TUM) with Vehicle Protection Kit (VPK), the vehicle is more widely known by its informal title, the "Snatch", even in official documentation. It is believed to have acquired the name from its use in the Troubles, when it was the preferred vehicle for snatch squads: soldiers trained to deal with demonstrations by picking out and arresting suspected ringleaders.
The "Snatch" was the first factory modified Land Rover to be used in Northern Ireland, replacing a series of ad hoc conversions including protected Airportable Land Rover (Land Rover 1/2 ton Lightweight) and 109" (known as the "piglet", being a smaller version of the Humber Pig armoured personnel carrier) then widely used by British Forces in Northern Ireland.
Manufactured as the CAMAC CAV 100 by NP Aerospace, the "Snatch" conversion was developed with the aid of Ricardo, and is fitted with CAMACcomposite armour to offer the crew protection against kinetic energy projectiles and, to a very limited degree, against explosive devices. Its rated "combat weight" (without crew and weapons) is 3,050 kg.
Six versions have been produced, the first being the original Snatch-1, equipped with a V8 petrol engine. Nearly 1,000 were produced, with 278 being "desertised" and reclassified as the Snatch-1.5. Most were upgraded to a second variant standard, either the Snatch-2 12v, LHD, the basic training variant; the Snatch-2A 24v, RHD, "Rest of World variant"; or the Snatch-2B 24v, RHD - the N. Ireland variant. These later versions were retro-fitted with "300 Tdi" diesel engines and the 2A is also fitted with air conditioning.
Some Snatch 2 are being further upgraded to the Snatch Vixen standard with chassis and drivetrain enhancements for a higher GVW.
When deployed, the vehicles are often fitted with electronic countermeasures electronic suites, which are designed to prevent certain types of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) being triggered, and Bowman radio communications.
Criticism of vehicle use
Use of the vehicle has been the subject of criticism by the media, politicians and the families of some casualties in both the Afghan and Iraqi areas of British operations. This criticism became public knowledge in 2005 when the media published claims from civil servants in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development advising against the use of the vehicles.
Later concerns were raised in Parliament, presenting comparison with the U.S. Marine Corps deployment of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Cougar, which appeared to have provided more protection. The conservative peer Lord Astor of Hever raising the comparison and inviting comment. In response the Minister for Defence Procurement, Lord Drayson, acknowledged that the Snatch was inappropriate but identified that trade-offs around protection and mobility were required, as well as highlighting previous maintainability issues with an earlier version of the Cougar. Similar issues were then reported in a Sunday Telegraph opinion piece and other news outlets. These also recognised the need for trade-off decisions to be made around posture and mobility.
Media reporting continued to escalate the topic whilst parliamentary dialogue continued.
Four families of servicemen killed in Snatch Land Rovers in Iraq and Afghanistan are to sue the Ministry of Defence, as reported by the BBC on 19 June 2009. Since 2003, some 37 UK personnel have been killed while using the vehicles.
The use of the Snatch in Afghanistan and Iraq has caused troops to name it a "Mobile Coffin".