The model of the Terrex 2, the evolution of the Terrex in service with Singapore. Teamed with SAIC, STK was downselected for the USMC ACV 1.1 programme. (P. Valpolini)
two plus 12 dismounts. Beside the US bid, the Terrex 2 is proposed to Australia for the Land 400 Phase 2 bid, STK looking also at other potential markets. Not much is known about the 8x8 armoured personnel carrier that will replace the M113 tracked APC in service with the Israel Defence Forces, if not that it will be named Eitan. According to Israeli officials it will be much lighter than the Namer, the APC derived from the Merkava MBT chassis, although it should remain in the heavy segment of wheeled 8x8, 35 tonnes being apparently the target weight of the vehicle, which should mark a priority towards protection, something not new to Israel considering local operational scenarios. The prototype should be ready by late 2016, trials being scheduled for 2017, for a in-service date around 2022. The recent order for 20 BTR-82A 8x8 APCs by Russia shows on one side that the tracked-wheel mix will remain in the future, but also casts some doubts about the Bumerang 8x8 programme, the first vehicles of that type having paraded on May 9 2015 on the Red Square. Although not many details have been made available, the new wheeled IFV/APC has heavy resemblances with Western vehicles of the same class, such as Nexter’s VBCI and CIO’s VBM Freccia. A major difference is that the Bumerang is amphibious, a trim vane being fitted on the glacis while two propellers are located at the rear. This makes difficult to estimate its combat weight, which should not exceed 30 tonnes. In the IFV version it is fitted with the Epoch remotely controlled turret armed with the 30 mm 2A42 gun and Kornet missiles mounted on the vehicle, while the APC version is fitted with a 12.7 RCWS. Up to nine dismounts can take place at the rear, a powered ramp being available at the back, a large door allowing access to the vehicle even not using the ramp. The driver position on the right shows that the engine is front-left, a considerable difference with the traditional rear-engine configuration of previous Russian wheeled APCs. As for the EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement
potential production forecast we must see how many BTRs the new Russian Army intends to replace. Numerous countries that have a requirement for a wheeled AFV/APC decided to develop their own solutions, sometimes in a total autonomous way, sometimes in cooperation with a renowned foreign partner. The latter case is that of Malaysia, where DRB-HICOM Defence Technologies, better known as Deftech, is producing its AV8 which heavily relies on FNSS Pars 8x8, the Malaysian and Turkish companies having signed a cooperation agreement. An example of semi-autonomous development is that made by Emirates Defense Technology, which at IDEX 2015 unveiled its Enigma, an 8x8 IFV developed on a Timoney chassis with all steering axles powered by a 711 hp Caterpillar C13 engine located front right coupled to a Caterpillar CX31 automatic transmission. Fitted with a BMP-3 turret, it had a combat weight of 28 tonnes, its protection being declared at Level 4 ballistic and at Level 4a/b against mine. Amphibious, powered by two rear screws, a model was also shown carrying a BAE Systems M777 howitzer on the back, in an SP howitzer configuration. The acquisition by the UAE of the Patria AMV should have killed this project. India is also looking at a national product for its AFV requirement, Tata Motors having unveiled its Kestrel in 2014, developed in cooperation with India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation, which was shown again in 2016 with a different turret. The unveiling saw the Kestrel fitted with a Kongsberg MCT-30R turret while two years later a BMP-2 turret appeared on the wheeled Tata vehicle. Its maximum combat weight is of 26 tonnes, lighter configurations being available depending on the armour package, the basic one at Level 1 weighing 22.5 tonnes. In early 2016 Tata Motors signed an agreement with Bharat Forge and US General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) for this bid. How the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle programme will evolve is to be seen, considering the delays that already occurred; the India Army has a requirement for around 2,600 vehicles.
A picture of the Bumerang; this 8x8 IFV might replace BTR-82s in the Russian Army and was seen for the first time on the Red Square in May 2015.
In this special Eurosatory 2016 supplement, Paolo Valpolini discusses both wheeled and tracked armoured vehicles.