PANGOLIN - Armoured Public Order Vehicle


OVIK designed and produced the PANGOLIN Armoured Public Order Vehicle in response to a requirement generated by the Police Service of Northern Ireland for an up-to-date replacement for a number of in-service ‘TANGI’ armoured Land Rovers.

This is a highly classified system and as such we are not at liberty to divulge any details of the design or vehicle protection levels.

In generic terms, PANGOLIN is designed to counter a number of threats inherent within the Northern Ireland operational area. Law enforcement officers face a number of challanges from highly aggressive public order scenarios which include very real ballistic threats from a range of potential weapon types and calibers. Moreover, the threat from improvised explosive devices of varying types remains high along with threats from missiles, rockets and indirect fire.

The design philosophy was to apply our knowledge and understanding of the multi-faceted kinetic and human threats whilst remaining highly cognisant of vehicle gross weight, levels of protection, payloads and of course... cost effectivness.

As of October 2015 OVIK has supplied a total of 168 PANGOLIN vehicles to PSNI and Merseyside Police


PANGOLIN - Armoured Public Order Vehicle Details

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PANGOLIN has been in a state of near constant operational deployment since the very first delivery in June 2011. Tried and tested in some of the most extreme riot scenarios on the often troubled streets of Northern Ireland, the PANGOLIN design is under constant review in order to ensure relevance and capability are maintained. PANGOLIN Batch1 was further improved with the development of Batch 2 (both batches built on Land Rover DEFENDER chassis) - OVIK is currently developing the next generation PANGOLIN armoured vehicle - based on the OVIK STRIVE chassis system and CROSSWAY Multi Role Armloured Vehicle design. The new vehicle is referred to as PANGOLIN CROSSWAY.

Originally designed and developed specifically for the Police Service of Northern Ireland and now in service with a number of UK police forces PANGOLIN is an advanced and specialist armoured vehicle. Initially designed on a highly evolved Land Rover 110 DEFENDER chassis and now available as the PANGOLIN CROSSWAY on the OVIK STRIVE chassis system. Optimised for public order duties and fully armoured to meet theatre specific threats. There are 153 PANGOLINS in active service with UK police forces.

PANGOLIN sits on the underpinnings of a modern heavy duty Land Rover 110 chassis complete with PUMA diesel engine and six speed manual gearbox. The DEFENDER specification was provided by the customer - PSNI and, whilst DEFENDER isn't the most apt base chassis for armouring, OVIK has worked in close conjunction with the Motor Industry Research Agency (MIRA) and Millbrook Proving Ground to produce a vehicle which meets and indeed surpasses the stringent handling and breaking requirements laid down by PSNI and the UK Hme Office. PANGOLIN has passed European braking test standards and the VSAG 08 handling requirement; this has been achieved through a rapid developmental programme which has seen significant upgrades and modifications to the standard Land Rover braking and suspension system.

“Our biggest initial challenge was quite simply one of time. Due to the operational imperatives of the PSNI, we had under six months from contract award to delivery for the Batch 1 vehicles. Given that PANGOLIN was a new design in January 2011 OVIK prototyped, developed, tested and built 60 vehicles, from scratch in a little over five months. The risks associated with concurrent prototyping, testing and development were significant but, working in conjunction with an expert project team consisting of operational officers from PSNI and through a virtual 24/7 process over six months we met the requirements laid down by PSNI”. Jez Hermer MBE – CEO OVIK Group.

The image to the left shows a PANGOLIN which has been subjected to multiple petrol bombs / Molotov Cocktails - a not uncommon occurrence and a threat which PANGOLIN is designed to cope with.  The vehicle features external fire suppression systems and is constructed from materials and finished in a paint system which is designed to withstand prolonged burning and intense heat. This vehicle needed a wash down and was back in action within a few minutes.

The vehicle is configured to carry up to six fully equipped police officers whilst the design takes into account some of the very unique threats encountered in the Province. Ballistic protection levels and materials remain classified but in addition to the pure ballistic protection PANGOLIN is ‘hardened’ to withstand petrol bomb attack and assaults from bricks, paving slabs, scaffold poles, crow bars and various improvised explosive devices.

‘When these vehicles return to base from a public order situation they look like they’ve done ten months in Iraq’ said a PSNI engineer. ‘Rioters tend to focus upon the ALRs and vent their anger, they do everything they can to try to damage the vehicles; we’ve even had refrigerators dropped on them from bridges and high rise buildings’.

These vehicles have to be almost uniquely tough and employ a range of steel and composite materials to produce a vehicle of the necessary durability and protection whilst keeping within the vehicle weights tolerance.

The PANGOLIN fleet entered service in June 2011, specifically in time to support the PSNI through the ‘marching season’ – an annual period within Northern Ireland when various groups from across the Loyalist community conduct street marches. The season invariable produces fairly significant public order issues and this year was no exception with PANGOLIN receiving an immediate baptism of fire from petrol bombs, bricks and paint.

‘We are really pleased with what OVIK have been able to produce for us within such a very short space of time. We understand the extreme pressure they were under to produce a vehicle from a standing start in such a short time and we are truly grateful. Many people, even from within our own organisation, said it couldn’t be done in the time frame – but OVIK have proved their capability and determination’. – very senior PSNI Officer at the official hand-over ceremony on July 21st 2011.

The design team at OVIK are now working on a third generation variant of PANGOLIN based upon the new OVIK HEAVY DUTY STRIVE chassis. The 'CROSSWAY' Public Order variant is due to debut in mid 2013.