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Issue N° 31 – January / February 2017

Eu r o p e a n D ef en ce R e v i e w

IDEX 2017 Supplement


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© Oshkosh Defense

Light and 4x4 Armoured Vehicles

By Paolo Valpolini Nowadays while wheeled armoured personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles tend to migrate on 6x6 and 8x8 platforms, increasing protection requirements are pushing to add weight on APCs, while for IFVs the trend to increase firepower tends to further move them to the right of the weight scale, 4x4 platforms still remain popular mostly as reconnaissance vehicles, weapon carriers or light personnel carriers. Having depicted the medium and heavies in our special issue published at Eurosatory 2016, it is now the turn of 4x4 vehicles, which weight can vary considerably depending on the use. EDR – January / February 2017

M A JLTV fitted with EOS R-400S Mk2 RCWS armed

with an Orbital ATK M230 LF 30mm gun; Oshkosh Defense is looking at new roles for its 4x4.


t the lower end we definitely find liaison and reconnaissance vehicles, usually below 10 tonnes, while between 10 and 15 tonnes we tend to find protected carriers which payload is inversely proportional to their protection level; not all countries need Level 4 platforms, in which most of the payload is absorbed by armour kits, thus when the threat is lower the payload tends to increase as less weight goes into opaque and transparent armour. Talking about programmes, on the Old Continent some nations are looking forward to acquire light and 4x4 armoured vehicles in the near future. The Danish FMI (Forsvarsministeriets Materielog Indkøbsstyrelse) announced in early 2016 that five providers had been shortlisted for the Danish Army new patrol vehicle. This will definitely be a 3

© Oshkosh Defense

heavier vehicle compared to the Eagle IV currently used, Denmark was one of the first customers of the original Eagle; according to FMI the contenders will be the Foxhound (the UK version of the Ocelot) and the Eagle V, proposed by GDLS-FPE and GDELS, the Aravis by Nexter, the M-ATV and L-ATV by Oshkosh Defense, and the Cobra and Cobra II by Otokar. Five other companies were down selected for the British Army Mulri Role Vehicle – Protected (MRV-P) Group 2 vehicle, these including BAE Systems Land (UK), GDLS UK proposing the Eagle 6x6, Mercedes Benz, Rheinmetall Vehicle Systems with the Survivor R, and Thales with its Australian Bushmaster. The initial contract for Denmark should be of only 36 vehicles, although add-on contracts may surface at a later moment, while the UK requirement is for around 180 platforms to be used either as troop carrying vehicle and and protected battlefield ambulance. Other nations, such as France, are also looking for a “light” 4x4 solution to complete their armoured fleet renovation, while Italy looks at the replacement of its Lince with an evolved version. How much the Polish Army BRDM-2 replacement will be a 4x4 or a 6x6 is still open to question; known as LOTR (Lekki Opancerzony Transporter Rozpoznania, light armoured reconnaissance vehicle) numerous contenders are lining up for what might be a 200 vehicles order, the 6x6 solution seeming to be currently the favoured option. In the US the huge

M With a requirement of nearly 50,000 vehicles

for the US armed forces, the JLTV will definitely be the light armoured vehicle build in greater numbers in the coming years. 4

JLTV market might have possible export spin-off, and other programmes worldwide. Brazil needs 350 light armoured vehicles, other Latin American countries also looking at this class of vehicles. Not to mention the Middle and Far East markets. Let us have a look into the light armoured vehicles world, starting from what will definitely be the hugest programme in the coming years. In the lower weight segment the major programme currently running is definitely the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, which will partially replace the US military HMMWV fleet. Following a competitive process that involved three teams, AM General, Lockheed Martin Corporation and Oshkosh Corporation, the latter was finally selected on August 25, 2015 and was awarded a $6.7 billion low rate initial production (LRIP) contract with eight options to procure the initial 16,901 vehicles for the Army and Marines. As stated by Major General Thomas Horlander, the director for the Army budget, “the JLTV, remains the centrepiece of the Army’s tactical wheeled vehicle modernization strategy, and placing approximately one-third of the light-wheeled vehicle fleet by 2041. The FY ‘17 request buys just over 800 vehicles, compared to FY ‘16, where we purchased less than 700 of these vehicles.” Heavily based on the company L-ATV (Light combat tactical-All Terrain Vehicle), the JLTV includes numerous protection and mobility solutions developed by Oshkosh for its vehicles. According to Army sources, “the JLTV offers underbody and side-armor protection similar to Oshkosh’s M-ATV, an MRAP, at about two-thirds of the weight, with a larger payload and greater reliability than a Humvee.” The JLTV is fitted with Oshkosh TAK-4i intelligent independent suspension system that provides 508mm of wheel travel allowing to drive at 70% more speed compared to other tactical wheeled vehicles. Adaptable suspensions can be raised and lowered to meet transportability requirements using interior controls and allow to self-level on longitudinal or laterals slope when parked. As for protection, the Core1080 crew protection system was adopted, based on a comprehensive design and testing approach that demonstrated its capability to increase survivability on combat-proven vehicles. Compared to a 4.5 tonne M1114 armoured Humvee that features a Level 2 protection the JLTV exceeds Level 3. The vehicle is provided with a basic armour, to which a kit is added to reach the desired level, allowing for protection upgrades in the future. The JLTV powerpack is based on the Banks 866T 6.6 litre turbo diesel engine based on General Motors Duramax January / February 2017 – EDR

architecture, coupled to an Allison transmission. To date the output power remains undisclosed, however it should be aimed at reaching maximum reliability. Oshkosh Defense is ready to install its ProPulse hybrid diesel-electric powertrain should the military decide to switch to it, however for the time being the conventional diesel solution has been adopted. Following the latest revision of the programme, two variants are been acquired, a Combat Tactical Vehicle (CTV), which can transport four passengers and carry 3,500 pounds (1,588kg), and a Combat Support Vehicle (CSV), which can transport two passengers and carry 5,100 pounds (2,313kg), both variants curb weight being less than 14,000 pounds (6,350kg). As for armament, this will come usually in the form of a .50 HMG mounted either on a Crows II RCWS or on a protected ring mount. Army requirements announced in 2014 called for 49,099 vehicles, while the US Marine Corps was looking for 5,500 JLTVs; these numbers are still valid, final deliveries for the Army being forecasted in 2040 while all USMC vehicles should be in service by 2022. The Army intends to replace part of its HMMWVs, while maintaining some of them for non front-line use. As for the USMC, the Corps intends to deploy 1,200 vehicles each in three Marine Expeditionary Brigades and 200 each in seven Marine Expeditionary Units, the remaining 500 to be assigned to the Maritime Prepositioning Force and to supporting establishments. Following the selection in August 2015 the Army awarded Oshkosh a $6.7 billion low rate initial production (LRIP) contract with eight options to procure the initial 16,901 vehicles for the Army and Marines. A first order worth $114.9 million was filed in August 2015 for 201 vehicles. A second order was placed on 22 March, 2016; worth more than $243 million it included 657 vehicles, 2,977 installation kits and related support. In late September 2016 the first seven vehicles were delivered; as the Army decided not to proceed with full testing with the three competing models due to cost considerations, the first 100 vehicles are currently been used to complete the testing phase prior the launch of the full rate production, which is expected for FY2018. A few days after the delivery of the first vehicles, on 26 September 2016 a further contract was filed, worth $42 million, for 130 JLTVs and 748 vehicle kits to be delivered by November 2017, while a further order worth $176 million was placed on January 2, 2017 that includes 409 vehicles and 1,984 installed kits, 82 packaged kits and related services EDR – January / February 2017

and support. Due to the delays caused by Lockheed Martin protest following the outcome of the selection process, the initial Operational Capability will slip to the right, the Army now looking at late 2019 while the USMC plans it for Q4 2018. In March 2016 it was announced that due to a revised estimates for unit costs of vehicles and kits as well as a number of other reasons the overall programme cost was decreased by $5.9 billion from $30.57 billion. In FY17 the US Army did not requested any funding for the Light Reconnaissance Vehicle, the service intention being apparently that of using the JLTV as an interim solution in that role. An extra seat and a heavier weapon seem to be needed, although requirements have not yet been frozen. At Modern Day Marine Oshkosh Defense displayed its JLTV fitted with an EOS R-400S-Mk2 RCWS armed with an Orbital ATK M230 LF 30 mm automatic chain gun, the one used in the AH-64 Apache helicopter, which marked a considerable increase in the vehicle firepower. Oshkosh was also probably willing to demonstrate to potential foreign customers the flexibility of its newly developed vehicle. The JLTV might be made available relatively soon as an FMS item, the first potential customer being the UK, the British Army looking at that vehicle for its Multi Role Vehicle-Protected (MRV-P) Group 1 requirement; approximately 750 should be acquired in three different variants, Logistics, Command and Control, and Liaison. As for the other competitors in the JLTV programme, Lockheed Martin issued a statement that says “our company continues to be committed to the military ground vehicle market. Our 4x4 vehicle that was part of the U.S. JLTV competition remains an effective combat tactical vehicle, and we will continue to look for opportunities to deliver that capability to other nations for their mission needs, should they express interest.” AM General seems oriented to focus on the HMMWV upgrade, leveraging the work done on its Blast Resistant Vehicle-Off road (BRV-O) which has been the company proposal for the JLTV. Other contenders seem to have vanished from the market, another light vehicle still proposed being the Navistar Defense MXT MVA, a five-seat heavily armoured vehicle with a curb weight of 15 tonnes and a 4.5 tonne payload, powered by a 340hp engine. Fitted with full independent suspensions, a derivative known as Husky is in service with the British Army. In France the main player in the 4x4 light armoured vehicles playground is definitely Renault Trucks Defense, however with the extension in weight 5

© Thales Australia

M A member of the Scorpion team, Thales is


proposing for the “VBM Léger” its Bushmaster, in service with Australia and the Netherlands.

M Among the contenders for the French Army

“VBM Léger” contract we find ACMAT’s Bastion APC. of the “light” definition Nexter, now part of the KNDS Group, also comes into play. The French Army has launched the Scorpion programme, which includes two 6x6 vehicles developed and manufactured by a consortium formed by Nexter Systems, Renault Trucks Defence and Thales; the acquisition of a third type of vehicle is planned, this being a 4x4 that will equip the units of France’s joint immediate reaction force. Temporarily known as the “VBMR Léger”, that is the Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle Light, this vehicle will have a GVW of less than 12 tonnes and will be fitted with a remotely controlled weapon station, (quite certainly the T1 in development by RTD and Sagem for the Griffon 6x6). Fitted with the SICS command and control suite, common to all Scorpion elements, it will be deployed by SA2R units (the French acronym for surveillance, acquisition, intelligence and reconnaissance) as well as by electronic warfare and signal units, all operating at tactical level. According

to available information the VBMR Léger should be a MOTS acquisition; Scorpion Phase 1 will lead to the acquisition of 200 such vehicles within 2025, first deliveries being expected in 2012, the overall need being of 358 vehicles. No cooperation among the three companies forming the consortium is to be expected for the lighter element of the Scorpion programme; although no official information were released, the Request for Information, which deadline was June 6, 2016, was answered independently by the three companies. RTD has more than one option in its portfolio, considering also ACMAT: one is the Sherpa Light, which inside volume and number of passengers seem to be insufficient for French Army requirements, the second being the Bastion, which inside volume should answer the needs of specialised vehicles such as the EW and signal versions. Thales is proposing the Bushmaster, developed by Thales Australia and in service with numerous countries. As for Nexter, some information mention a derivative of the Titus in a 4x4 variant, based on a Tatra chassis which is known to be in advanced phase of development, the company having also in house the combat proven Aravis, which is already in service with the French Army. Technical data of those three

Thales Bushmaster

ACMAT Bastion

Nexter Aravis

GVW [t]



13 t

Length [m]




Width [m]




Height [m]








Engine [hp]





January / February 2017 – EDR

© P. Valpolini © VGGS ACMAT

M Mobility demonstration in the mud for

M The development of the VLRA 2 led to the new

Bastion High Mobility, which exploits the advanced chassis of the new truck. vehicles are grouped together below in a small table to allow a quick comparison. In 2013 Volvo Group Governmental Sales (VGGS) reorganised itself acquiring direct control of the brands and production units of Renault Trucks Defense, Panhard and ACMAT, while pooling R&D and commercial functions. Each of those brands has in its portfolio light armoured vehicles and heavier 4x4 armoured vehicles, which makes VGGS one of the main providers of such platforms. Panhard was probably the first company to launch a very light vehicle which was armoured since its design phase, the VBL (Véhicule Blindé Léger), which is still very much in service with the French Army and many other customers worldwide. Currently the best seller is the Dagger, a 5.55 tonne GVW vehicle which can carry a maximum of six dismounts plus a crew of two in the personnel transport configuration, while four combat equipped soldiers can be hosted inside the rear in the troop transport version, the liaison-command one hosting tree-four people. Ballistic protection Level 2 is provided to the crew, mine protection being around Level 1. Two propulsion units are avaliable, with respective outputs of 170 or 200hp. The Dagger, known as PVP in the French Army, has seen action in numerous operational theatres, and is also in use in Chile, Romania and Togo. Coming to Renault Trucks Defense, its Sherpa Light has given birth to a complete family of vehicles, Scout, Station Wagon, Carrier and APC. Their Gross Vehicle Weight varies from 7.9 to 10.9, while the number of seats goes from the two of the Carrier version fitted with a short cabin, to the four-five of the Scout and EDR – January / February 2017

this Sherpa Light; it is available with two different powerpacks. Station Wagon, up to the 10 of the APV configuration. The cabin protection can be upgraded up to Level 3, a V-shaped underbelly deflector being available to improve IED protection, and mine CEN B6 or B7 protection levels being also available as option. Two power packs are available, with 176 or 240hp output, both from Renault. The Sherpa Light can be fitted with RCWS, 20mm turrets, antitank missile launchers, while the Carrier version can be used as a mortar or an artillery howitzer carrier. The Sherpa Light is in service with numerous countries, mostly for paramilitary duties but also within military units. ACMAT fields the Bastion, a 12 tonne GVW platform based on the company VLRA chassis that can host a two-man crew plus eight dismounts in its APC version, the full armoured one. Fitted with two side doors and two rear doors, it is equipped with firing ports and can be equipped with a ring or a remote turret. A full Level 2 vehicle, against ballistic and mine threats, it can be upgraded at ballistic Level 3. In September 2015 the US DoD ordered to Mack Defense, the US arm of VGGS, 62 Bastion APCs to be delivered to African countries, Somalia, Uganda, Tunisia, Cameroon and Ethiopia. Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali also operate the Bastion, some undisclosed Middle East nations also being equipped with the ACMAT vehicle. Exploiting the VLRA 2 chassis, ACMAT developed the Bastion HM, for High Mobility, which has a 14.5 tonne GVW and is powered by a 340hp engine. It is available in the APC version, carrying two plus eight soldiers, and Logistic vehicle, with a crew of two-three and a 4.5 tonne payload to be carried on the rear platform. Longer and wider than the original Bastion, it features fully independent suspensions rather than axles with leaf and springs of the original vehicle, which explains well its name. 7

© Nexter/Y. Debay

the vehicle is fitted with cage armour against RPGs and jammers against RC-IEDs. Mine protection is Level 2a/b, ballistic protection having not been announced, but it should also be Level 2, upgradeable at least to Level 3. As for Nexter, its Aravis has seen action in Afghanistan and Mali with the French Army, While the Gabonese Army, which has in service 12 vehicles, is using them as part of its contingent deployed with the Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), operating under a United Nations mandate. In early November France counted a further casualty due to IEDs, an NCO having been killed by an explosion in Mali, which might increase the need for heavily protected light armoured vehicles such as the Aravis, currently in use with engineer formations as part of the route clearance package. With regard to Gabon, its army proved to be able to maintain the vehicles without the need of any external logistic support from industry, which proved that training provided was sufficient. Nexter also completed deliveries to an unnamed Middle East country, which all understand to be Saudi Arabia. Overall the contract was for a first batch of 73 vehicles, part of them fitted with Nexter Systems’ ARX20 remotely controlled weapon station, followed by two further batches, for an overall total of 264 Aravis. Nexter has also completed the training for operators and maintainers, the Aravis being thus now operational with the Saudi Arabia National Guard, their operational role remaining unadvertised. According to Nexter no new variants of the Aravis are foreseen, the main market for this vehicle being outside Europe, with good chances in Africa. In the late 1990s, Iveco DVD of Italy designed the Light Multirole Vehicle, LMV in short, which has been since adopted by 13 nations, with the United Kingdom as launch customer in late 2003. The greatest number of LMV’s is however in service with the Italian Armed 8

© Czech MoD

M A French Army Aravis in Afghanistan;

M A convoy of Czech Army LMVs in Afghanistan;

the Iveco DV 4x4 has been exported in numerous countries. Forces, which received over 1,700 Linces, the Italian name for the vehicle, in different versions. Born at 6.5 tonnes, the last iteration of the Lince has grown to 7.1 tonnes, this version being currently proposed on the export market. Some of the solutions adopted in the latest versions of the LMV are being exported into a new generation vehicle, known in Italy as Lince 2. This new vehicle is developed under the hat of Forza NEC, the digitisation programme, which involves numerous platforms due to be equipped with new C3 systems. The vehicle is being developed under Forza NEC chapter 4.9, which originally included six prototypes, now reduced to two, that have been delivered to the Italian MoD in late 2016. Iveco DV produced three company prototypes, which have been used to validate the platform, one of them having travelled over 20,000km without any major problem. Compared to the original LMV, the Lince 2 has an integral hull, which provides a much greater protection against explosions on the side, typical of IEDs. The redesign as well as the adoption of a higher performance basic armour and a marginal increase in dimensions allowed to obtain 13% more protected internal volume at the same weight, with increased IED protection, a double floor further improving resistance to mines and under-belly IEDs. With a GVW of 8.1 tonnes, the chassis has been strengthened using SSAB’s Domex 700 steel with a 700 MPa enervation instead of the FeE490, with a 490 MPa enervation. Suspensions were also improved to cope with the higher weight, an upgraded engine providing 165 kW coupled to a new generation eightgears ZF 8 HP 90S automatic gearbox allowing to January / February 2017 – EDR

M A teamwork development between KMW

M Mobility trials in the Munich area for this

Survivor-R, the 4x4 proposed by Rheinmetall Vehicle Systems Division to military and paramilitary forces. keep the power-to.-weight ratio over the 20 kW/tonne limit. A redesigned double cooling system and a new air-filtering system ensure better performances, reliability and serviceability. The new vehicle features two new systems which improve its mobility, the Automatic Drivetrain Management (ADM) and the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP). The former ensures automatic differential lock, the function being activated when the ABS system senses a difference in rotational speed of drive shafts that exceeds 300rpm. As for the ESP, also this system exploits data provided by the ABS as well as those provided by an additional yaw inertial measurement unit and a steering angle sensor to allow active speed and torque control for each wheel, improving stability. Most of the 1 tonne GVW increase goes into the payload, which steps up from 800 to 1,500kg. The two aforementioned prototypes that have been delivered to the MoD will be used for the qualification of the nodes and will be therefore fitted with the whole C3 suite as well as with the Hitrole Light RCWS; as part of the Forza NEC programme, each Lince 2 will be a node of the digitalised system, at squad (T2), platoon (T3) and company (T4) levels. The qualification will be carried out together with Leonardo Land & Naval Defence Electronics Division that is responsible for the C3 package, which includes VHF/UHF as well as Satcom radios, depending on the level. Once the platform and node qualification will be completed, the contract for 34 pre-series vehicles will come into force, Iveco DV receiving the order from Leonardo, which is the prime contractor for Forza NEC, first deliveries being expected for late 2017. The Italian Army plans a first production order of around 400 vehicles, followed by a multi-year acquisition EDR – January / February 2017


© P. Valpolini

and Rheinmetall, the Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicle is a highly protected patron vehicle that still awaits a launch customer.

programme that might lead to over 2,000 Lince 2, although industry sources look at a total of around 1,250 vehicles, a nearly 1:1 replacement for the Lince 1. Under Forza NEC chapter 4.4 a further development is on going, that of the Lince 2 ISTAR. Currently at study level, the green light for the development is expected in early 2017, the aim being of exploiting most of the qualification process already underway, in order to reduce time and costs. As for the C3 suite most of it will be based on that of the T4 node. A Janus multi-sensor panoramic sight installed on a telescopic mast located rear right should be added, which will require the relocation of many communication elements. The Lince 2 ISTAR should be assigned to cavalry regiments, a total number of 150-200 being foreseen. As for the CBRN version, budget problems seem to slow down the development process, the requirement thus remaining on standby. With the two LMV generations on the market, Iveco DV is obviously looking at new export opportunities both in those nations that already adopted its 4x4 that might shift to the LMV 2, as well as in other areas where the original LMV copes with the local requirements. Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles, now part of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems Division, features in its portfolio two 4x4 armoured vehicles, the Survivor-R and the AMPV, the latter developed in team with KMW. Based on a modified MAN chassis that can withstand up to 18 tonne GVW, fitted with a 330hp diesel engine and with leaf with extra dampers suspensions both on the front and rear axle, it has a curb weight of 11 tonne and a 4 tonne payload. The protection concept is based on an armoured steel monocoque with underbelly V-shape deflector; this allows reaching a maximum Level 3 ballistic protection, while mine protection is at Level 4a/3b, the Survivor-R being able to withstand a 100kg IED at 5 metres. The vehicle can host a two-man 9

crew and eight dismounts in the rear compartment; beside the personnel carrier variant numerous others are available, such as command, ambulance, pickup, as well as purposely designed variants such as reconnaissance and NBC-recce. As for the AMPV (Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicle) the aim was to develop a compact patrol vehicle with a very high protection level. At the highest protection, similar to that of the Survivor-R, the AMPV has a curb weight of 7,800kg with a 2,200kg payload. The AMPV adopts the crew citadel concept, the ballistic protection package including tungsten carbide; while the 4a/3b level and the 100kg at 5 metres level were qualified, industry tests have shown that the vehicle can survive Level 4b threats as well as a 150kg charge at the same distance. Propulsion is provided by a 272hp diesel engine coupled to a ZF 6-gear automatic gearbox with transfer box. It is fitted with independent double wishbone suspension and full differential lock management. Driving tests carried out on four prototypes totalled over 25,000km in various conditions, to which further 4,000km on synthetic tracks with GVW up to 10.1 tonnes were carried out. As said, the AMPV is a common development between KMW and Rheinmetall. A specialist in main battle tanks and heavy tracked vehicles, KraussMaffei Wegmann entered the light armoured vehicle world in the late 1990s, its Dingo 1 being adopted by the German Bundeshwer and introduced in service in 2000, taking part since into all the operations that saw the participation of German troops. Based on a Unimog chassis and powered by a 240hp engine,

the crew is hosted in a protected cell, a V-shaped bottom ensuring protection against mines and IEDs. The standard version had an 8.8 tonne GVW with a 1.4 tonne payload and a 6.5 m3 protected volume, the long wheelbase increasing the GVW to 10.8 tonnes and the payload up to 3.2 tonnes, the volume growing to 8 m3. Germany ordered 147 Dingo 1. The Dingo 2 is based on the Unimog U 5000 chassis, which allowed to increase weights: at 12.5 tonne GVW for all versions, the standard vehicle has a 3 tonne payload and can host up to eight military, the large volume version having a 2 tonne payload the number of seats depending on configurations, protected volumes being respectively 8.2 and 11 to 14 m3. Beside the German Army, which adopted it in numbers and in different variants, the Dingo 2 obtained a good export success, and is now in service with Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Luxemburg and Norway. A further development, the Dingo 2 HD (Heavy Duty) was introduced in 2014; based on an improved U 5000 chassis, it has a 14.5 tonne GVW with a 3 tonne payload, dimensions remaining almost the same. A stair ramp is now available to access to the rear compartment. Overall more than 1,000 Dingos have been sold worldwide. KMW also offers a series of armoured vehicles known as Terrier and based on 4x4 Iveco chassis, Daily, Eurocargo and Trakker, respectively with GVW of 5.5, 15 and 18 tonne. KMW wheeled vehicles portfolio also includes the Fennek; purposely developed on German and Dutch requirements, this 12 tonne GVW vehicle has seen action in Afghanistan and is available in recce, antitank, command and control, forward artillery observer, joint fire support, pioneer, air defence and tactical air control party versions. To date the only N The amphibious version of Otokar’s Cobra II

M The current version of the Eagle, developed by

Mowag, now part of General Dunamics European Land Syetems, is based on the Duro chassis. 10

© Otokar


is slightly bigger while maintaining the same GVW, volume allowing increased floatability.

January / February 2017 – EDR

© Nurol Makina

export customer has been Qatar, Germany having given the clearance to the delivery of 32 Fennek in late 2014, the order also including 13 Dingo 2. Born on the HMMWV chassis, the Eagle, initially a Mowag product now part of General Dynamics European Land Systems, has evolved, the last version being based on the Duro chassis, which gives it a greater growth capability. The baseline vehicle has now reached a 6.7 tonne curb weight with a 3.3 tonne payload, and can carry four or five soldiers. The heavier GVW carried with it a higher protection level, although no exact figures were given, add-on kits allowing to increase the baseline protection. Powered by a Cummins engine, which output can be trimmed between 250 and 300hp, a 6x6 version has also been developed. The German Bundeswehr, which had already in service the Eagle IV, acquired 176 Eagle V in two contracts, filed in June 2013 February 2014 to answer the GFF Class 2 requirement (Geschützte Führungs und Funktionsfahrzeuge, Protected Command and Utility vehicles).

M Nurol Makina developed the Ejder Yalçın patrol

vehicle, which do date has been acquired in small numbers by Turkish military and paramilitary units. The Turkish defence industry is acquiring an increasing importance on the international market, numerous companies being involved in the light armoured and 4x4 vehicles field. That with the grater number of vehicles in this category is definitely Otokar, which Cobra appeared in 1996 at Eurosatory. This 5-tonne class vehicle is still in the company portfolio and apart from the acquisition by Turkey obtained numerous export contracts and has seen action under EDR – January / February 2017

numerous flags. Powered by a 190hp engine it can carry a crew of two plus seven dismounts. Leveraging its success Otokar launched in 2013 the Cobra II, which provides higher ballistic and mine protection, levels were not announced. With a GVW of 12 tonnes, it is provided with two power packs, based respectively on a 281hp or a 360hp engine. It can carry the same number of crew and passengers as the original Cobra. An amphibious version, longer, wider and higher, maintaining the same GVW , is also proposed, which can host one extra dismount. The advent of MRAPs led Otokar to unveil its vehicle of that category in 2009; the Kaya, based on the Unimog 500 chassis and powered by a 218hp engine, it has a GVW of 13 tonne and carries a two-man crew and 10 dismounts. In 2013 the Istanbul-based company unveiled the Kaya II; 1.5 tonne heavier, it is powered by a 300hp engine and hosts the same number of soldiers, although with an increased protection level, the higher power-to-weight ration ensuring better mobility performances. A heavier and bigger MRAP is the Kale, also unveiled in 2013; at 16 tonne GVW it can host a tree-man crew plus 13 dismounts and is powered by a Cummins 296hp engine. Another vehicle unveiled at IDEF 2013 is the Ejder YalçIn, a 4x4 developed by Nurol Makina, a Nurol Holding company, the holding also controlling 51% of the aforementioned FNSS. A 12-14 tonne vehicle with a 4 tonne payload capacity, it is powered by a 350hp engine and can host up to 12 military. Fitted with a V-hull and a floating floor to improve protection against mines and IEDs, its armour level is not available. With two doors per side and one at the rear, it allows easy access to the two-crew members and the 10 dismounts, which can use their individual weapons from under armour thanks to the gun ports available in the doors and in the hull. For the time being the Ejder YalçIn has been acquired by the Turkish security and military services in small numbers. At IDEF 2015 FNSS, the JV between Nurol Holding and BAE Systems, unveiled the PARS 4x4 prototype, a peculiar vehicle with the engine located at the back. Its GVW to be amphibious was 10 tonne, while it can grow up to 12 tonne if floatability is not required. Propulsion in water is provided by two waterjets, while the 350mm freeboard level allows it to enter water without preparation. FNSS claims that the engine position allows its vehicle to behave better in the water compared to competitors. No details on engine were provided, but a power-to-weight ration of 25-30 hp/tonne were declared, thus the output 11


M FNSS has won the contract for the Turkish Army antitank vehicle, the wheeled segment of the contract being based on the PARS 4x4 unveiled in 2015.

provided the design of the Navigator. At 16 tonne GVW, the Kirpi features a monocoque cabin installed over a BMC truck chassis and is powered by a Cummins 375hp engine. No data were officially provided for protection, the understanding being that it is a full Level 3. The vehicle is able to host 10-15 soldiers including the crew. Beside the 2009 Turkish contract, for the Army and the Gendarmerie, which was interrupted for a certain time due to the company financial problems, the Kirpi has become a successful export item, following the contracts with Pakistan and Tunisia, the latter having received a batch of 40 such vehicles with 60 more to be delivered, while Turkmenistan is another user of the Turkish-made

© Carmor

© IAI Ramta

should be around 250-300hp. The PARS 4x4 is fitted with independent suspensions of the double wishbone type with hydro pneumatic dampers; the CTIS together with the big tyres adopted allows to reduce ground pressure and ensure maximum mobility. Five soldiers are hosted in the vehicle; driver and commander at the front, while the three seats in the back are staggered to optimise situational awareness, an ample front windscreen being available. Behind the crew a mast can be installed to host an ISTAR sensor suite or an antitank system, the overall payload being 3 tonnes. On 27 June 2016 FNSS was awarded by SSN (Savunma Sanayii Müsteşarliği, the Under Secretariat for Defence Industries) the project contract for the STA (Silah Taşıyıcı Araç, Anti-Tank Vehicle) family, which will include both tracked and wheeled platforms, the latter based on the PARS 4x4. The vehicle is being fine-tuned to Turkish requirements, the final configuration being not yet frozen. Design, development and prototype qualification will be completed in 2018, deliveries being planned in the following two years. When the Turkish military needed new MRAP-type vehicles, the contract went to BMC, which proposed its Kirpi 4x4, a vehicle based on an Israeli project. At that time the two countries were cooperating intensely in the defence field, thus BMC turned to then Hatehof (now Carmor) that

M The antitank version of the RAM Mk3,

the 6.5 tonne vehicle designed and produced by IAI Ramta in Israel. 12

M Once known as Hatehof, Carmor proposes the Xtream, which hosts up to seven soldiers in a Level 4 protected cell, mine protection being Level 3. January / February 2017 – EDR


M The Kirpi, the MRAP developed by BMC, is in

service with the Turkish Army; a 6x6 version was unveiled in 2015. 4x4 MRAP. The BMC portfolio features another 4x4, the Vuran, unveiled at IDEF 2015, which seems mostly oriented towards paramilitary duties. Based in Izmir, Katmerciler is another player in the 4x4 armoured vehicles field, with its Khan and Hizir, the latter being proposed to the military market. Unveiled in late 2016, the Hizir is a 16 tonne GVW vehicle that can carry up to nine military protected by a monocoque hull with a V-shaped bottom, no details on protection levels being provided. Personnel can access to the vehicle via two doors per side and a rear door, the vehicle exhibited in Istanbul in early November being fitted with an Aselsan SARP RCWS, firing ports being also available in the doors and in the side hull. The Ramta Division at Israeli Aerospace Industry is fully involved in land and naval production, its portfolio including a light armoured vehicle known as Ram Mk 3. It has a quote peculiar architecture as its powerpack, made of a Deutz 185hp six-cylinder turbo-charged air-cooled engine linked to a four-speed automatic transmission with a two-speed transfer case, is located at the rear. According to IAI Ramta officials a turbo-charged intercooler engine is proposed as option for those customers who want to exceed the current power-toweight ratio of over 28hp/t. Based on a monocoque crew compartment made of armoured steel the Ram Mk 3 is produced using over 90% COTS subcomponents, which allows to contain costs and to ease maintenance, the customer avoiding to be EDR – January / February 2017

tied in the OEM supply chain. Survivability being the key issue to allow the vehicle to come back to base, all mission critical automotive components are protected by armoured steel. Basic protection is at STANAG Level 2, but it can be increased to Level 3, mine protection level being Level 2a/b. IAI Ramta stated that the current combat weight, 6.5 tonnes 1.2 of which being payload, is not the structural weight limit, but declined to declare the amount of growth potential. IAI Ramta also offers what it defined a “statistic protection” against RPGs, that is a cage/net type system. The company is always monitoring the evolution of protection solutions, in order to adopt state-ofthe-art systems. However, if you are looking for computers or “Gucci solutions” don’t choose the Ram Mk 3; the company philosophy is to keep it as simple as possible, all automotive systems being thus analogue and not digital, reliability and ease of maintenance being the mantra. The same applies to operational subsystems: no centralised and complex architecture is adopted, IAI Ramta preferring to develop customer-tailored solutions based on the generic electric wiring of the vehicle. Apart from the standard troop transport configuration, which can carry up to eight soldiers, the Ram Mk 3 has been developed into at least 20 different variants and sub-variants, including reconnaissance, fitted with mast-mounted sensors, command and control, with a lesser number of seats to give room to computers, screens and additional communication equipment, antitank, with a collapsible launcher carrying four Nimrod short-range IAI missiles. All those maintained the same external shape, in order to make it impossible for the opponent to 13

© IMI Systems

pick-up the vehicle of key importance among the others. An exception has been made with the latest development, the ambulance, which has a slightly higher roof to allow more room inside for medical attendants and equipment; it can carry up to four stretchers, casualties being loaded by the side as in a helicopter, the back of the vehicle being occupied by the powerpack. In terms of market the Ram Mk 3 has been provided to numerous customers, both military and paramilitary, the latter being attracted by the relatively small dimensions, which do not intimidate people as a giant MRAP would do. Overall nearly 500 vehicles have been sold, the number of customers having substantially increased in the last few years. Africa remains one of the key markets, the last contract announced by IAI in February 2015 being for two customers from that continent that ordered 100 additional Ram Mk 3 for their military forces. Remaining in Israel Carmor, formerly known as Hatehof, has a full spectrum of 4x4 armoured vehicles in its portfolio. The heavier 4x4 is the Navigator, a 15 tonne curb weight vehicle with a 3 tonne payload capable of hosting up to 13 soldier with a Level 4 ballistic protection and a Level 3a/b mine protection. Powered by a Cummins 345hp diesel engine, this monocoque structure vehicle has a considerable growth potential, a GVW of 23 tonne

being forecasted. At 16.5 tonne GVW we find the Xtream, with a 4.7 tonne payload and seating for up to seven soldiers, ensuring the same protection of the Navigator. Powered by a 325hp Cummins engine, it is more compact and has a greater mobility, especially in terms of approach and departure angles. The champion in this field is the Hurricane, thanks to the very limited front and rear overhang; at 7.5 tonne curb weight with a 2.1 tonne payload, this 4x4 ensures to the seven soldiers on board a Level 3 ballistic and Level 2a/b mine protections and is powered by a 245hp Cummins engine. The most recent successes obtained by Carmor, or at least those announced, involved the Wolf, the lighter of the family with its 7.1 tonne curb weight and 1.745 tonne payload. With a Level 3 ballistic and Level 1 mine protection levels, it can host up to 11 passengers and is powered by a 300hp engine. The Wolf shows well the continuous evolution of Carmor vehicles; although direct comparison is difficult as some metrics have changed, the latest version, which recently won some contracts in Brazil and Macedonia for paramilitary forces, has a payload which is nearly 25% of the curb weight, while in older models this figure was around 18%. Carmor’s armoured vehicles production is aimed both at the military and para-military, its Brazilian contract being filed by the São Paulo police that acquired

N A armoured dune buggy on steroids,

IMI Systems’ CombatGuard was unveiled at Eurosatory 2014, no more information having been released since.


January / February 2017 – EDR


to 12 soldiers and is extremely well protexted against mines and IEDs.

four Wolf, which have been delivered and already saw action during some unrest in the more populous Brazilian town. IMI Systems, formerly Israel Military Industries, proposes its Wildcat, made of an IMI developed crew compartment capsule fitted onto a Tatra 4x4 chassis fitted with backbone tube and swinging half axle suspensions that provide mobility just short of that given by fully independent suspensions. Powered by a Cummins 325hp engine, its curb weight is of 11.4 tonne with a GVW of 18.5 tonne. The 7.1 tonne payload can be used to considerably increase the protection level: Kit A ensures a Level 3 protection against ballistic threats, Kot B bringing it to Level 4 while Kit C delas with RPGs and 14.5mm AP rounds. As for mines, the Wildcat V-shape bottom coupled to the other solutions adopted provides a 3a/2b protection. The three-man crew access the vehicle via a side ramp on the left side, while the nine dismounts enter the transport compartment via the rear ramp. The vehicle seems to be still at prototype stage as no launch customer has shown up. Another interesting concept by IMI was the CombatGuard, unveiled at Eurosatory 2014; an 8 tonne GVW dune buggy developed together with Ido Off-Road Center and powered by a 300hp engine, its 54-inch wheels allow it to reach 150km/h on road and 120km/h off road. Tyres protrude from the vehicle shape, thus allowing 90° angles of approach and departure. It is fitted with an armoured cabin capable of hosting a two-man crew plus four-six operators, the protection EDR – January / February 2017

level having not been announced. Probably developed for Israeli Special Forces, no news have been given about a possible contract and operational deployment. Celebrating this year its 25th anniversary, the Streit Group is increasingly involved in the military world, its portfolio expanding continuously as new vehicles are being added at each exhibition. It is to note that as far as protection is concerned the group does not stick exclusively to the STANAG 4569 standard, but also refers to other such as to the European CEN 1063 and CEN 1522 standards, as not all customers do refer to NATO standards. Examples of this are the Cobra and the Cougar, among the latest developments of Streit. The Cobra is a light patrol vehicle with a curb weight of 4,760kg and a 1 tonne payload, based on a Toyota chassis and powered by a 232hp diesel engine. Standard protection is CEN B6, 7.62mm NATO soft core, but it can be increased to B7, while blast protection can be increased from standard 2 x DM51 to one DM31. Available in 3-door and 5-door configurations, it can host respectively eight or nine soldiers. The same protection levels can be found on the Spartan, a 7.3 tonne curb weight 4x4 with a 1.5 tonne payload capacity powered by a Ford V8 engine providing 300hp. It can host a crew of two plus eight dismounts, in different layouts, and can carry an N The Paramount Group’s Marauder is based on

a monocoque hull and ensures Level 3a/b protection against mines to its 10 occupants.

© Paramount Group

P At 15 tonne GVW, the RG21 can carry up


© P. Valpolini

M At 11 tonne GVW the Scorpion is a full Level 3

vehicle, although its ballistic protection be boosted to Level 4. RCWS, but being a modular vehicle it can also be used for specialised missions such as command and control or ambulance. The aforementioned vehicles can be used by paramilitary or military units, the same applying to the Gladiator, an 11 tonne curb weight vehicle with a 2 tonne payload based on a 4x4 Renault trucks chassis; with a 276hp engine, it can host up to 12 military, the hull being fully protected at Level 2 according to STANAG 4569. It can however be up-armoured, ballistic protection increasing to Level 3. The Scorpion 4x4 is the second Monocoque based AFV produced by Streit and is fitted with independent suspensions. Powered by a by a 300hp Cummins diesel engine, it has a curb weight of 11 tonnes and a payload of 2 tonnes. Basic protection is at Level 3 ballistic and Level 3a/b against mines, according to STANAG 4569, an optional add-on kit bringing ballistic protection up to Level 4. It can carry a crew of two plus eight dismounts. Exploiting a Kamaz truck chassis, Streit developed 16

the Shreck, an MRAP that can host up to 12 soldiers, with the same basic and optional protection levels of the previous vehicle. With a 15 tonne curb weight, it has a 3 tonne payload, and is powered by a 330hp engine. An EOD version fitted with a hydraulic arm has been developed. Another MRAP, which is part of streit portfolio, is the Tornado, which ensures Level 2 ballistic and Level 3a/b ballistic and mine protection, the former being upgradeable at Level 4 using a kit. At 13 tonne curb weight, with a 2 tonne payload, it is powered by a 300hp engine and can carry up to 10 soldiers. Even tougher, the Typhoon MRAP has a basic ballistic protection at Level 2 that can be upgraded up to Level 4, while its V-shaped gives it a Level 3a/b mine protection. A monocoque vehicle fitted with independent suspensions, it is powered by a Cummins 400hp diesel engine, weight and payload being similar to those of the Tornado. The first nation that probably developed mine protected vehicles, due to the type of warfare that its armed forces had to cope with, has been South Africa. Denel being the reference defence company of that nation, its vehicles are well known, new vehicles having been added to its portfolio thanks to the acquisition of BAE Systems vehicles January / February 2017 – EDR

branch in South Africa. Currently two entities part of Denel are busy producing armoured vehicles, Denel Vehicle Systems (DVS), formerly BAE Land Systems South Africa, and Denel Mechem, the latter specialised in demining and thus dealing mostly with mine clearing related vehicles. Among DVS products we find the RG32M Patrol Vehicle, with a 9.5 tonne GVW and a 2 tonne payload. Depending on configuration it can host the driver and four or six dismounts. Occupants are protected up to the 7.62 and 5.56mm NATO calibre ball ammunition, protection against 7.62x51mm AP being obtainable using appliqué armour. As for mines, it is protected against DM31 fragment anti-personnel mines. It is powered by a Steyr M16CTA engine providing 180hp. From the base version a Light Tactical Vehicle (LTV) variant has been developed, with the same GVW but a reduced payload, as its base protection level is increased. Here the crew of four is protected at Level 1 according to STANAG 4569 and at Level 2a/b against mines. Its powerpack has also been upgraded, the new M16 SCI engine providing 268hp. Over 800 RG32 of the various models were sold worldwide, Sweden being one of the major operators outside South Africa together with Egypt and Finland. Growing in weight, we find the RG21 mine protected vehicle, a 15 tonne vehicle with a 5.2 tonne payload hosting up to 12 military. It is powered by a 240hp engine and is largely based on COTS components. The crew is protected against small arms, up to 5.56x45mm ball rounds, and against mines, 21kg TNT under wheel and 12kg under belly.

© Paramount Group

N Fitted with full independent suspensions the Mbombe 4 is the high mobility and heavily protected vehicle in the 4x4 Paramount’s Group portfolio.

EDR – January / February 2017

Coming to Mechem, beside legacy Casspir mine protected vehicle, the company proposes the Casspir NG2000 in the A, B and MPV versions. All those vehicle are based on a welded V-shape monocoque fitted with MB heavy duty axles, used in Mercedes Zetros military trucks, each capable to carry a 9,000kg load. The Casspir A is powered by a 231hp Mercedes-Benz OM906LA engine, while the B is powered by a Steyr WD10.290 providing 290hp. Both models have a curb weight of 11.5 tonnes and a GVW of 14.5 tonnes, dimensions being identical, and can host up to 12 military. The 9mm thick hull made of Armox 500 steel protects at Level B6, while it can withstand the explosion of a 14kg blast under belly and 21kg under wheel. Denel Mechem maintains in its portfolio the legacy Casspir, which is still obtaining commercial successes, while the new versions have been already provided to some customers, including Angola, Burundi and the United Nations. Paramount has developed numerous armoured vehicles in the last few years, the South African group being also very active in setting industrial partnership with foreign countries, such as Kazakhstan and Jordan. This goes well with the group philosophy, which is very much based on technology transfer. Three vehicles fall in the category of this issue. The Marauder is a 17 tonne GVW vehicle with a four tonne payload that hosts a two-man crew and up to eight dismounts in the monocoque hull, the double skin spaced armour providing B7 protection (7.62x51mm AP). As for mines, the Marauder ensures Level 3a/b protection according to STANAG 4569. Powered by a 285hp turbo diesel engine, it features one door per side and one at the rear. With the same GVW but with a 3.6 tonne payload, the Matador maintains the same mine protection level but increases the ballistic one at Level 3+, as it can withstand up to 7.62x54R API and 12.7x99 Ball. Up to 12 dismounts can be hosted in addition to the two-man crew, access being via two side doors and the double back door. This chassis-based MRAP-type vehicle, powered by a 289hp engine, features large side and rear windows providing the occupants a good situational awareness. Coming to the Mbombe 4, known as Marauder XT in certain 17

O Developed by Denel

© Nimr

in South Africa as the RG35, this design has been acquired by Nimr and modified, giving birth to the N35.

markets, it is the 4x4 with the higher protection, Level 4a/b antimine and ballistic Level 3+, similar to the Matador. The flat bottom ensures a high antimine protection while allowing to reduce the vehicle height to 2.45 meters, a plus in terms of passive protection. A 15 tonne GVW vehicle with two-tonne payload, the Mbombe 4 is a monocoque hull vehicle with full independent suspensions, its 400hp engine couipled to the drivetrain allowing a maximum speed of 150km/h. It can host up to 10 military, access being provided by two side doors and one rear door. Nimr is the UAE champion in the armoured vehicles field; founded in 2004 by the Bin Jaber Group, it is now part of EDIC (Emirates Defence Industries Company) which incorporates 16 of the UAE’s main defence companies. In late 2015 Nimr inaugurated its main plant at the Tawazun Industrial Park, and in June 2016 the 1,000th vehicle was rolled out at the facility. Coming to production, the lighter vehicle family in the Nimr portfolio is the Ajban. Under that name we find six different versions, some dedicated to Special Forces, other to para-military duties. All versions maintain a common chassis, with a 3.3 metres wheelbase, and are powered by the same Cummins engine providing 296hp coupled to an Allison 3000SP six-speeed automatic transmission, with a cruise range of 650km at 100km/h thanks to the 180 litre fuel tank. 18

All the armoured versions proposed to the military market have the same dimensions, being 5.65 metres long and 2.3 metres wide, but the cabin layout is quite different. The Ajban 420 has a GVW of 9,000kg with a 3,500kg payload, and is fitted with an armoured two-man cabin and an ample flatbed at the rear, this version being aimed at logistic and utility duties. The Ajban 440A has a 9,200kg GVW with a 1,100kg payload, the stretched cabin hosting four passengers protected also against IED and mine threats, a smaller flatbed being still available at the rear. The Ajban 450 GVW is 9,000kg with a 2,000kg payload; here the armoured cabin is full length and hosts four passengers. Both long cabin versions can be fitted with gun rings for installing self-defence weapons. All versions can be up-armoured, maximum ballistic protection being Level 4 while blast protection goes up to Level 3a/b. A wholly different type of vehicle, the N35 is a derivative of Denel Vehicle Systems’ RG35, which is being produced by the UAE company following a contract with the South African group signed in November 2015. At 18,500kg GVW, it has a 4,300kg payload (at Level 2 protection) and can be protected up to Level 4 ballistic and Level 4a/b against blast threats. Powered by a 450hp engine, it can host two crew members and up to seven dismounts, the protected volume being 11 m3. Quite compact, less January / February 2017 – EDR

than six meters long and 2.7 metres wide, the N35 crew citadel does not overhang excessively from the axles allowing very good angles of approach and departure, respectively 45° and 61°. As for firepower, it can accept manned or unmanned solutions with light or medium calibre weapons. The N35 4x4 was first seen in UAE colours on December 5th 2016, during the parade that was part of the celebrations for the 45th National Day. The vehicle was fitted with a Dynamit Nobel Defence FeWas 120 RCWS armed with a 12.7mm machine gun. The Ajban was also on display, but in the non-protected SOV version. Since the inception, when it developed the Nimr vehicle in cooperation with Jordan, the UAE vehicle company looked at the export market, the Nimr having been provided to Algeria, which also set up an assembly line, and Libya, the order for Lebanon being apparently on hold. The UAE company is now expanding its reach South East Asia being one of the primary targets. Thailand Chaiseri Metal and Rubber Company is producing the First Win, a 4x4 with an 8.5 tonne curb weight and a 1.5 tonne payload, capable of hosting up to 11 military. Powered by a Cummins 250hp engine coupled to an Allison 2500 automatic transmission, traction can be selected as x4x or 4x4.

The V-shaped monocoque steel hull ensures Level 2 ballistic protection, mine protection being Level 4a/3b. Available with one or two doors per side, plus the rear door, it can be fitted with light turrets or RCWS. The Royal Thai Army already operates the vehicle, 229 having been ordered, while the first export customer has been Malaysia, Deftech having produced the vehicle under license. This shows well how many new players are coming into the light armoured vehicles field, not only to provide their platforms to national forces but also reaching out on the export market. Thales Australia has become a key player in light armoured vehicles, Australian forces having acquired over 1,000 of its Bushmaster, which has also been adopted in the Netherlands, which Army and Marines deploy 98 such vehicles, while in smaller numbers the 4x4 vehicle developed down-under is in service with the UK, Indonesia, Jamaica and Japan. Australian and the Netherlands deployed their Bushmasters in Afghanistan. At 15 tonnes GVW, four of which payload, and with an 11m3 protected volume, it can host up to 10 soldiers, including the crew of two. Powered by a Caterpillar 300hp engine, its four tonne payload can be partly used to increase basic protection up to Level 3 both against ballistic and mine threats. The Bushmaster is available in numerous

P A Hawkei with its trailer pictured during Australian Army tests.

© Australian DoD

This vehicle is being acquired as part of the LAND 121 Phase 4 programme.

EDR – January / February 2017


versions such as troop carrier, command and control, ambulance, route clearance, heavy weapons, mortar carrier, air defence and maintenance, and is being proposed to France for the VBMR Léger segment of the Scorpion programme. Moreover last October Australia and Indonesia signed an agreement for the development of a vehicle based on the Bushmaster and tailored at Indonesia requirements. Following the success of its Bushmaster, Thales Australia developed the Hawkei, a smaller and lighter vehicle designed to meet the requirements of Australia’s Land 121 Phase 4 programme, which was looking for 1,100 PMV-L (Protected Mobility Vehicles – Light) for command, liaison, utility and reconnaissance roles. The Hawkei was declared preferred bidder in December 2011, the 1.3 billion AUD (€ 700 million) contract being finally filed in October 2015, which included also 1,058  trailers, following thorough testing on six prototypes and one trailer in the 2012-14 period. The last two of an initial production run of 10 vehicles were rolled-out from the Bendigo production line and delivered to the Australian military on 14 November


2016. With a three tonne payload and a GVW of 10 tonnes, it can host up to six soldiers in the four-door variant and three in the two-door one. Powered by a 270hp Steyr M16 SCI diesel engine, it is fitted with fully independent coil spring suspensions and fourwheel steering that allows reducing the steering range. To allow easy maintenance the hull monocoque is not welded, the elements being bolted together. The basic protection level was not unveiled, the B-kit provided by Plasan of Israel allowing to considerably increase protection at a cost of around 900kg, the kit being installed in around 30 minutes. Armament consists of a light remote weapon station with up to a 12.7mm MG or 40mm AGL. The curb weight of less than 7 tonnes was an Australian requirement, to allow the Hawkei to be transported under slung by a CH-47 fitted with armour. All vehicles will be fitted with Elbit Systems BMS that has been chosen by the Australian Army as its standard C2 system. Full rate production should start in 2018, the Thales Group being actively promoting both its vehicles on the international market. J

the new reference of medium-calibre armament system


U.S. heavy 4x4

12.5 tonnes and a 2.2 tonne payload, the M-ATV is powered by a Cummins 370hp engine and carries a five-man crew. Fitted with the TAK-4 suspension and based on the Advanced Core 180 crew protection system, it has a range of over 500km.

© Oshkosh Defense

T M Compared to other MRAPS, which are based

on truck chassis, the M-ATV is fitted with fully independent suspensions, its mobility being thus much higher.


part from the JLTV, which is definitely the most important LAV programme in terms of numbers, US companies are active in promoting heavier 4x4 vehicles. Oshkosh Defense M-ATV, developed to answer US military requirements for a high mobility MRAP to cope with the Afghan scenario, is still high in the company portfolio, although some of the foreign nations using that vehicle received it directly on a gov-to-gov basis, these vehicles coming from US surplus that originated from the cuts to the MRAP inventory following the withdrawal from the Afghan operational theatre. Overall 8,722 M-ATVs were delivered to US forces, over 1,500 having been divested. Afghanistan, Croatia, Iraq, Libya, Poland and Uzbekistan seem to have been the beneficiary of the Excess Defence Articles programme, while Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates should have acquired new vehicles via FMS. Produced in five variants, Utility, Engineer, Assault, Command and Special Forces, it is also available in an extended wheelbase configuration. With a curb weight of

EDR – January / February 2017

extron Systems is delivering its TAPV (Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle) to the Canadian Army, the first being having been handed over on 19 August 2016. Based on the Commando family, this 18.5 tonne 4x4 is powered by a rearmounted Cummins 365hp engine and is fitted with independent suspensions. Aimed at replacing the RG-31, part of the LAV 2 fleet and to complement the G-Wagen fleet, 500 TAPVs have been acquired at $ 603 million. The first TAPVs were delivered at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Gagetown, eight other bases awaiting their new vehicles, Valcartier, Petawawa, Borden, Montréal, Edmonton, Shilo, Wainwright, and Meaford. Last deliveries are planned in late 2017 to early 2018, full operational capability being forecasted for 2020. A heavyweight in the 4x4 US landscape is Navistar Defense MaxxPro, with a curb weight of nearly 15.5 tonnes and a 4.5 tonne payload, which makes it definitely an MRAP vehicle.

M Based on Textron Systems’ Commando family,

the TAPV has been acquired by the Canadian Army which ordered 500 vehicles. 21

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