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Over 4,000 Iveco DV’s Light Multirole Vehicles have been sold in the world in different configurations; here an Italian Army Lince equipped with Oto Melara Hitrole Light RCWS. (RC-West)

“Lights” on a Turning Point With the mission in Afghanistan wrapping up and total uncertainty on what allied ground forces will find in their next mission (or missions), investments in the vehicle field are being carried out very carefully by the services. It is however probable that light armoured vehicles will continue to play a significant role in the future: their low aggressiveness, inherent mobility and immense advantage when faced with bridge capacities and road widths should ensure light armoured vehicles a good short - and medium-term future.

Paolo Valpolini


he rising threat posed by insurgents in asymmetric conflicts, however, require them to carry improved protection which, at least with currently available technologies (and budgets), means more weight, to the extent that some readers may not readily understand how the thus far “light” category has managed to turn into patrol vehicles on steroids or “mini-MRAPS”. Yet, in many cases this seems to be the current trend.

Numerous nations are still looking for “light” solutions like, for example, Brazil, whose Army is expected to deploy a battalion-size contingent in Lebanon in mid2014. The service indeed issued an RfP in late November 2013 with the aim of acquiring a batch of 32 light multirole armoured vehicles with a gross weight of eight tonnes. Requirements include a one-tonne payload capacity and the seating for up to five. Vehicles for trials should be delivered by early April 2014. The test phase should be relatively short, as the new vehicle, known as Viatura Blindada Multitarefa, Leve de Rodas

(VBMT-LR) will have to be delivered for some training prior the deployment forecast in Q3 2014. The acquisition plan includes a further potential order that should bring the total to 218 vehicles. A demonstration that “light” is still trendy. I JLTV VS. HUMVEE

By the time Armada International readers read these pages, the 66 JLTVs and 18 trailers, 22 vehicles and six trailers each delivered in August 2013 by AM General, Lockheed Martin and Oshkosh will have undergone over half a year of tests in the

Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014


A prototype of AM General’s JLTV pictured during trials. The company stresses the commonalities between this vehicle and the HMMWV that might bring reduced operating costs. (AM General)

hands of Army and Marines personnel. Amidst pessimistic notes on most US Army programmes, the AUSA 2013 press conference on JLTV sounded different as all three speakers insisted on describing this new vehicle as one of the top priorities for the new force structure. Kevin Fahey, Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support, underlined that the October 2013

governmental shutdown had some detrimental effects on the testing programme, as some proving ground were closed; “we are behind the current ideal plan,” he said, “but not behind schedule.” Force reduction should not affect the number of JLTVs. Although a 25% divestiture is foreseen in the light tactical fleet, “we will thus reduce the numbers of our Humvee fleet,” US Army Col. John

Cavedo, manager of the Joint Program Office for the JLTV said, echoed by his deputy, USMC Lt. Col. Mike Burks who confirmed the 5,500 vehicles need for the Corps. With field tests underway, late 2013 will see the JPG involved in the manufacture readiness assessment, production readiness review being planned for early 2014. Success is however not yet solidly wrapped up as tough decisions on DoD programmes will be taken in Q3 of FY14, with the selection of the winning bidder awaited for 2015. With the requirements now settled and trials well underway the three competing teams cannot say much. AM General considers it an advantage to have an inhouse state-of-the-art engine like the Optimizer 3200, the General Engine Products 3.2-litre developed from the Steyr M16 following the licence agreement signed in 2009 with Steyr Motors of Austria and currently in production at the company facility in Franklin, Ohio. This engine yields 300 hp at 4,300 rpm, with a torque rating of 69 kgm at 2,200 rpm and, although at AM General’s JLTV propulsion is based on the Optimizer 3200 turbodiesel engine that is produced in-house, another “plus” according to the company. (Armada/P. Valpolini)


Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014

different ratings, also equips the AM General HMMW M998 the Alvis Scorpion CVR(T), the KMW-Rheinmetall AMPV and the BAE Systems BVS10. At only 250 kg, the Optimizer 3200 has a 1.2 hp/kg powerto-weight ratio and a 94 hp/l power density. AM General also stresses the 40% design commonality of its JLTV and Humvee, which has a positive impact on costs, as well as the fact that it has a dedicated assembly line for light tactical vehicles. In mid-October 2013 the Lockheed Martin – BAE Systems team announced a shift in the JLTV production strategy, should the team win the bid. While prototypes were produced at BAE Systems’ Sealy facility in Texas, actual production will be moved to Lockheed Martin’s Camden plant in Arkansas. “This will allow us to be more costeffective, reducing the overheads and shifting to a single Material Requirements Planning and Quality system,” Scott Greene, VP Ground Vehicles for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control said at AUSA. Lockheed Martin used the venue to exhibit the first of 23 vehicles rolled out

The Lockheed Martin-BAE Systems team decided to move all the production to the Camden plant, and successfully passed the Manufacturing Readiness Assessment. (Armada/P. Valpolini)

from Sealy Engineering and Manufacturing Development assembly line. According to the team heads, Green and Mark Signorelli respectively VP and General Manager Combat Vehicles at BAE Systems Land and Armaments, underlined that the move will also allow to shorten the supply line, Camden being within 600 miles from the principal subcontractors, which means less

than one day travel. The Lockheed Martin – BAE Systems team considers the move very low risk, and believes that there will be no problem meeting the 2016 deadline for an initial low-rate production run. In early December 2013 the company announced that its JLTV team successfully completed the government’s Manufacturing Readiness Assessment at its Camden facility. Oshkosh, for its part, relies heavily on the experience acquired with its M-ATV. “We are confident that the six years of preparation and the six generations of prototypes that led us to the EMD phase together with the lessons learned from the M-ATV allowed us to provide a vehicle which features high survivability, off-road capacity and fuel economy,” John Urias, President Oshkosh Defence told the author. While supporting the JLTV testing, Oshkosh is marketing its L-ATV, the export version of the US Army/US Marine Corps vehicle first exhibited internationally at DSEI 2013. “Differences are very small, commonalities having a positive impact on life cycle costs,” Urias says, underlining

A view of one of the 22 EMD prototypes delivered by Lockheed Martin to the programme management in August 2013. (Lockheed Martin)

Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014


however, that “the L-ATV has an open architecture to increase flexibility in answering foreign customers requirements in additional equipment.” As seen in Col. Cavedo’s statement, the Humvee recapitalisation programme might suffer from cuts in the light tactical vehicles fleet. The MECV (Modernized Expanded Capacity Vehicle) did not appear in the Pentagon’s FYT13 budget, thus there is currently no money for a wide Hummer recap. Nonetheless numbers will remain interesting, and companies continue to make proposals, being sure that sooner or later some form of serious revamping will be needed as JLTVs on their own will not be sufficient, while the current HMMWV fleet needs a boost in terms of reliability and availability. Outside America, that recapitalisation may well be extended to countries that adopted the AM General vehicle in the past, as over 300,000 Hummers have been sold and of which the original manufacturer estimates that some 180,000 are still in service. AM General thus proposes its Reliability Enhanced HMMWV which is in full production for the M1151, M1152 and M1165 models. AM General’s modernized chassis has been upgraded after ten years of R&D investment to support heavier operating weights, thereby increasing payload capacity at the same time as providing full crew protection with modular and scaleable kitted armour. The new rolling chassis includes other specific improvements such as 400-amp alternator, enhanced airlift brackets, front mounted condenser, heavy duty shock absorbers, high capacity disc

The L-ATV is the export version of the vehicle proposed by Oshkosh Defense for the JLTV programme, of which 22 prototypes are currently being tested. (Oshkosh Defense)

brakes, improved cooling with gear fan drive, reduced effort steering, increased load 24bolt wheels, robust three-piece frame rails, dedicated parking brake and improved rear differential cooling. These upgrades have proved their value downrange and AM General is proposing the new chassis as a “recap” option for those vehicles that will continue to be in the home and international military fleets for the next 30 years or more.

Textron Marine & Land Systems teamed with Granite Tactical Vehicles are proposing the SCTV (Survivable Combat Tactical Vehicle), an armoured monocoque V-hull crew capsule that ensures a protection level similar to that of the lesser protected MRAPs. Textron proposes to take goodcondition frame Humvees, strip them of their old cabins, upgrade the engines, upgrade or replace suspensions depending

The new chassis proposed by AM General for the Humvee recapitalisation programme includes numerous improvements in the mobility elements and in the structure to allow a higher gross weight. (AM General - Armada/P. Valpolini)


Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014

The Survivable Combat Tactical Vehicle - SCTV in short – is the proposal for the Humvee recap made by Textron Marine & Land Systems in co-operation with Granite Tactical Vehicles. (Textron M&LS)

on the model, fit improved tyres and install a crew cell. Automotive upgrades are relatively limited as the new capsule does not bring a dramatic weight increase thanks to the integral armour concept adopted. Mine protection is obtained through the Vshaped bottom, the material used as well as a higher ground clearance. A fifth egress point has also been fitted in the back of the capsule. The capsule sides, including doors, are slanted, creating sloped surfaces that increase protection against ballistic and RPG threats. According to Textron the SCTV solution should have a price that compares with that type of utility vehicle. Meritor Defense is proposing its own Humvee enhancement package in the form of a rolling chassis that includes upgrades to the drivetrain and suspensions. The chassis adopts Meritor MXL drivelines (Meritor Xtended Lube) in which advanced sealingslip sections prevent water ingress and

Photo Carl Schulze

Saving soldiers’ lives: Protection systems by RUAG.

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Based on a Dodge RAM 5500 chassis, the Tiger, developed by Textron M&LS and MDT Armor is a cost-effective protected vehicle with two to seven seats. (Textron M&LS)

ensure that lubrication is protected from contaminants. This allows to extend lubrication intervals for both universal joints and slip section to 160,000 km, thus considerably reducing maintenance costs. Mobility increase is mostly due to the adoption of the ProTec High Mobility Independent Suspension (HMIS) Series 30. The lighter of the series, the ProTec 30 has an 8,150 kg gross axle weight rating and up to 533 mm of independent wheel travel. However, at AUSA 2013 Meritor Defence unveiled two new add-on solutions to further improve the mobility of not only the Humvee, but also of the JLTV mobility – the company being part of the Lockheed Martin team. The first one is the SmartFlow, a system that periodically checks the single tyre pressure and adjusts it according to the mobility mode chosen, which can be highway, cross country, mud/sand/snow or emergency. The system is based on a pneumatic control unit that integrates electronics and pneumatics, and is linked to the pneumatic control unit via controlled area network, one channel per wheel being available. Complementary to the SmartFlow comes the DriveCommand, a pneumatic drivetrain control system that actively monitors and controls differentials and transfer case status, that are locked and engaged when necessary through adequate sequencing. Electrical and pneumatic connections link the drivetrain control unit to the front and rear axles and to the transfer


Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014

Two views of Textron M&LS SCTV recapped Humvee exhibited at AUSA 2013; it is based on an armoured monocoque V-hull crew capsule installed over an upgraded Humvee chassis. (Armada/P. Valpolini)

The HMMWV recap solution proposed by Meritor allows to increase the vehicle’s gross axle weight to 8.15 tonnes. (Meritor Defense)

April 2009, followed by a further order for 89 in September 2010. The British Army’s gross at 8.6 tonnes with a payload of around 1.6 tonnes, the vehicle carrying four military. The patrol version is equipped with a protected weapon station armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun or 40 mm automatic grenade launcher, while the support version has a weapon station armed with a 7.62 mm machine gun. I TURKEY

Meritor’s DriveCommand drivetrain control (DTC) on the left and SmartFlow central tire inflation system in the middle, are proposed for HMMWV recap together with Meritor MXL drivelines and ProTec High Mobility Independent Suspension. (Meritor Defense – Armada/P. Valpolini)

case, connection with the HMI being again via controlled area network. Working modes being the same as the SmartFlow, a single HMI can be used when both systems are installed. Each one of the systems weighs only 1.9 kg, and both are linked to the compressed air supply tank. Meritor Defense is preparing to launch the production of both the SmartFlow and the DriveCommand, which have been thoroughly tested with the US

Marine Corps within a Humvee upgrade programme experiment. Navistar is still actively marketing its International MXT. The MVA armoured version remains under the 10-tonne gross weight mark, but gets close to 15 tonnes in the Armoured (ISS) and APC versions. The main user of this vehicle remains the British Army, with an order for 262 MXT-MVA (known as the Husky in British service) in

Turkey is steadily increasing its presence in the light armoured vehicles world: at IDEF 2013, in addition to Otokar, at least three other companies unveiled their proposals in this market slice. Since the late 1990s when it launched its Cobra 4x4 tactical armoured vehicle, which used some AM General Humvee components, Otokar has been continually developing this as well as other models to meet both home and export requirements. Gradually, and beyond Turkey, its Cobra has also been adopted by Algeria, Bahrain, Georgia, the Maldives, Nigeria, Pakistan, Slovenia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as by other undisclosed countries. The last order placed by Turkey in September 2013 shows that the size-performanceprotection-price equation of that vehicle is still very much appreciated. The ensuing tighter links established with customers through the years led Otokar to fathom the need for a vehicle that featured the same agility as the existing Cobra but with a greater internal volume and higher protection. Hence the Cobra II unveiled in May 2013 at IDEF. Although the new vehicle leverages experience acquired with the original Cobra, the ‘II is a new vehicle in its own right. Longer, wider and higher, it is

Navistar MXT is available in unarmoured and armoured configurations as well as with live axles or independent suspensions, its heavier versions being close to 15 tonnes. (Navistar Defense)

Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014


The Armoured Protected Vehicle, APV in short, has been for years a best seller vehicle for Otokar which sold over 4,500 pieces for military and paramilitary purposes. (Otokar)

powered by a Cummins 6.7 litres 6-cylinder turbocharged common rail diesel engine producing 281 horses (the Cobra “only”had a 190) linked to an Allison automatic gearbox with six forward and one reverse speed. At maximum gross of 12 tonnes, its power to weight ratio is of 23.4 hp/t, lower than the 30 hp/t of the original vehicle. However, due to the desire of some potential customers to maintain the same mobility as the original Cobra, the vehicle can be equipped with the same engine, but somewhat tweaked to churn out some 360 hp (this solution being currently in the qualification phase). Equipped with fully independent suspensions, this new vehicle has a higher

internal volume compared to its predecessor, the main reason for the weight increase being however the higher mine and ballistic protection level; according to Otokar 30% of the weight increase is due to the larger available volume while 70% is to be blamed on protection. The Cobra II maintains the monocoque approach of the Cobra, with a body made of armoured steel. Add-on armour to increase ballistic protection comes in two options, one with ballistic steel and the other with composites, though while both bear the same weight penalty, protection levels differ (and so probably do their price). Axles are a new design developed and produced by Otokar, while the independent

suspensions are similar to those of the Cobra but obviously adapted to cope with the heavier weight. The Cobra II standard equipment includes front thermal camera, rear view camera, CTIS and ABS. Turning to accessibility – the Cobra II accommodates the same number of passengers as the Cobra, which is nine – this is better, courtesy of two lateral doors instead of one previously, though the rear door has survived. The rear infantry compartment has two vision blocks per side to allow direct vision and troops can use their assault weapons through firing ports. All variants currently available in the Cobra family will be developed in Cobra II guise. Currently the Cobra II amphibious version, which features a propulsion similar to that of the Cobra with two rear propellers, is undergoing final qualification trials, since Otokar is aiming at having it ready for production in Q1 2014. An air-defence variant is under development and will be exhibited at the Bahrain Air Show in January 2014. It will be equipped with the Aselsan Missile-Igla system that can carry up to four short-range Igla missile launchers. Five different prototypes have been produced and in mid-2013 the new vehicle, in its basic version, was considered ready for production. Otokar is marketing the Cobra II alongside the Cobra, since effectively the two vehicles belong to two different classes. Otokar follows the same approach as that used with the Cobra APV, the Armoured Protected Vehicle, of which the company sold 4,500 units to paramilitary and military units. Here too protection levels and internal volume needed to be increased to overcome

The new Cobra II is much more protected and heavier than the original Cobra and is available with two different power packs. The side view with the doors open taken at the Otokar stand during IDEF 2013 reveals the internal layout. (Otokar - Armada/P. Valpolini)


Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014

Otokar is qualifying the amphibious version of its new Cobra II; here the prototype characterised by the two pushing propellers, one of them being visible at the back of the vehicle. The Turkish Army relies very much on amphibious capabilities, that are a key requirement for most of its vehicles. (Otokar)

the APV shortcomings, which gave birth to the Ural, which too, was unveiled at IDEF 2013. Much lighter at 6.1 tonnes, it can carry up to ten soldiers protected by the all-welded steel cabin bolted onto a chassis that was purposely designed and produced by Otokar. Two configurations are available, with three or five doors in addition to both right- or lefthand drive configurations (all markets are worth considering nowadays, knowing that 53 countries drive on the left hand-side of the road, which is considered as the only right driving side in Britain). The Ural is powered by a 185 hp turbocharged intercooler diesel engine and has front independent suspensions and a live

rear axle. As paramilitary units often have to cope with emission regulations, the Ural is currently available both with Euro 3 and Euro 5 engines, but within two years Otokar plans to also have a Euro 6. Currently the company has received a first order for a batch of 11 vehicles for evaluation by the Turkish Police by the time these lines are printed. In addition two foreign customers were evaluating the Ural in late 2013. Nurol, engaged in the infantry fighting vehicles through FNSS (a joint venture between Nurol Holding and BAE Systems Land & Armaments L.P.) entered the light armoured vehicle market with the Ejder 4x4 unveiled in May 2013. The company

The Ural is the new proposal from Otokar to replace the APV as light patrol military vehicle and for paramilitary use. (Otokar)

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develops and produces 100% of the new vehicle, which was designed following a thorough marketing research that led to fine tuning the technical specifications. In only two months the company went from the screens to the prototype of this 12 tonner, which Nurol considers not to belong to the Mrap league category, but proposes in the personnel carrier, reconnaissance, command and control, CBRN, combat, weapon carrier and ambulance configurations. The APC can carry a two-man crew, an optional machine gunner, and six dismounts, the front cabin being accessible via two side doors while the rear compartment features two side and one rear door. A hatch allows the machine gunner to operate his weapon, although at IDEF 2013 the vehicle was equipped with a remote-control weapon station cradling a 12.7 mm machine gun. That prototype also featured metal bars protecting glass surfaces against low velocity projectiles such as stones. The Ejder 4x4 features a large windscreen and ample lateral glass surfaces throughout its length to provide optimal outside view to the crew, the rear being the only side without any glass. The Nurol 4x4 has all-round independent suspensions with double wishbone, helical coil and shock absorbers, and its 25 hp/t power-to-weight ratio allows it to accelerate from 0 to 40 km/h in six seconds. The Ejder 4x4 has a growth capability of two tonnes; however Nurol is ready to develop a longer chassis with improved suspensions should a customer require a 10 seater. Hema Defense Industry is a new entry into the armoured vehicles community as an OEM, the company having provided for years components to numerous other manufacturers. The Turkish company had established a co-operation with the Streit Group on both a 6x6 and a 4x4 weapon carrier, the latter known as the Şimşek (lighting), but this co-operation has now come to an end. Hema is thus now developing its own vehicles, again a 4x4 and a 6x6. Although a tad “heavy” to belong to this Compendium, but for sake of clarification, the 4x4 vehicle known as HHD-1 to be unveiled in 2014 will gross at 14 tonnes with a 3.5-4 tonnes payload capacity, accommodate up to 11, including driver and gunner. Its powerpack will be based on a Deutz or MTU engine developing 280-340 hp and coupled to an Allison 2000XP transmission. The Vshaped hull monocoque carries independent suspensions, with hydro-pneumatic damping on option. Protection will be Level


Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014

The prototype of the Ural 4x4 was unveiled at IDEF in May 2013; at that event Otokar unveiled three new vehicles and a number of new weapon stations and turrets. (Armada/P. Valpolini)

3a/b against mines and Level 3 against ballistic threats, add-on armour allowing to reach Level 4. According to the artist impression available the vehicle sides will also have some V-shaped contribution to increased protection, personnel being able to ingress and egress through four lateral doors and a rear door. The vehicle is shown armed with a 12.7 mm remote-control weapon station with full optronic suite. Katmerciler, a Turkish company active in special trucks, is shifting its interest towards defence, its Pit-Bull VX 4x4 armoured personnel carrier being its first step in this direction. Based on a Ford-550 chassis powered by a 300hp Ford 6.7 V8 turbodiesel, it has a combat weight of 8.8 tonnes with a payload of 1.3 tonnes. The vehicle has a Level 1-equivalent protection against mines while its steel hull is protected at CEN B6+. Katmerciler is proposing its Pitt-Bull VX to

numerous countries, the most promising contacts being with Azerbaijan. I FRANCE

Upon closing the previous Compendium on light armoured vehicles came the news of Panhard’s acquisition by Renault Trucks Defense. Although it hardly was a surprise, that move changed the French scenario in this market putting three brands under a single roof, namely Renault, Acmat and Panhard, which are all involved in one way or another in the lighter segment of the vehicle market. After over one year with that organisation, the removal of Gérard Amiel from the helm of Renault Trucks Defense, the post of chief executive being taken by Stefano Chiemlewski, president of Volvo government sales, looks very much like the removal not only of a top man but of a whole intermediate level, bringing RTD under a

At IDEF 2013 Nurol Makina unveiled the Ejder 4x4 version which is now offered in 6x6 guise. A longer wheelbase version might soon appear. (Nurol Makina)

more strict control of the Volvo industrial group. Although some new products are expected in the APC/IFV sector, no major new product is expected to emerge in the light one in any near future. The Panhard VBL is definitely the RTD portfolio best-seller with over 2,300 vehicles in service in 16 countries and in over 10 versions. Panhard is continuing to develop the upgrade package for the French Armée de Terre that will include a new rear suspension, to allow a 900 kg payload capacity increase, a new engine and an improved protection. This version should reach a gross weight of around 5.2 tonnes, and is attracting some interest from the export market. The PVP, for Petit Véhicule Protégé, was used in Mali by French forces deployed during “Opération Serval” in January 2013. It was mostly used for gathering tactical intelligence in the northern regions of Mali, the two versions involved in such missions being the Drac drone support vehicle and the Electronic Warfare vehicle, the latter helping to locate rebel commander radios, and direct on them either artillery fire or combat helicopters. The Armée de Terre fields some 1,180 such vehicles, some of

A new entry in the Turkish lightweight armoured vehicles contest, Katmerciler is proposing its Pit Bull VX 4x4 to numerous export customers. (Katmerciler)

which will soon receive the Sagem-Panhard Wasp RCWS. Some 80 more PVPs were produced and delivered to Togo, Chile and Romania, the latest customer being Mali. The Crab concept vehicle unveiled a couple of years ago is still exhibited at numerous shows, as exemplified by its presence at DSEI 2013 in Abu Dhabi, although it is not clear how much this type of vehicle will attract a customer in the current or in a modified form.

With the APC-XL introduced at DSEI 2013 Renault increased the flexibility of its Sherpa Light, which is now available in five different armoured and non-armoured versions. The latest version grosses at 10.9 tonnes and can carry a crew of two plus eight dismounts and a 2.6-tonne payload. Available in three- and five-door configurations, its roof is raised to 2.53 metres to give an 11 m3 protected volume, that is one extra cubic metre compared to the

A Panhard Petit Véhicule Protégé in the Drac drone detachment configuration, which saw action in the Mali French forces engagement. (RTD/Yves Debay)

standard APC version. The latter has been sold to Qatar, the Far East and in some European countries, the Carrier version having been acquired by Nato and France. The tougher member of the family is the Sherpa Light HI (for High Intensity) which has a gross weight of 10.5 tonnes, a payload capacity of 1.5 tonnes, and seats for six soldiers. Protection levels are not announced, but being a short wheelbase vehicle with a weight similar to that of the long wheelbase ones it is clear that protection has been increased. Nearly 300 Sherpa Lights have been sold, including the logistic carrier version to the Egyptian Police, and according to RTD the company is involved in numerous offers regarding the latest variants. Turning to the Acmat range, Renault has sold over 350 Bastion APCs, mostly in Africa but also to some European special forces units, the latest 11 having been delivered in early December 2013 to Chad. At 10.5 tonnes gross this vehicle has a payload capacity of two tonnes at Level 1 ballistic protection, that drops by half a tonne with Level 2 armour, and again by another half tonne at Level 3, though antimine protection is limited. I ITALY

With over 4,000 vehicles on order from 10 countries (Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, Norway, Belgium, Croatia, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Russia), Iveco DV is


Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014

nearly ready to launch the production of an improved version of its successful 4x4. In 2014 the Bolzano-based company will complete the production of the VTLM Lince, currently on order by the Italian Army, with over 1,600 delivered so far. The last batches are in Lince 1A configuration with the integral roof able to carry both the new protected gun ring and the Oto Melara Hitrole Light turret. The new roof ensures full safety in case of roll-over and replaces the original roll protection bar, increasing the available space inside the vehicle and reducing the weight. Italy is reducing its contingent in Afghanistan, and following over five years of deployment downrange statistics show that, apart from initial teething problems, the vehicle performed according to expectations. Around 30 Casevac Lince were also delivered. Currently Iveco DV is talking to the Italian Army to finalise the VTLM-2 configuration, the acronym standing light tactical multirole vehicle. The next-generation Lince will be slightly longer to increase available space, 95 percentile data constantly increasing the Dutch requirement which now calls for 2.02 metres. The new vehicle will have better mobility, higher payload and protection, and will feature a consistent payload capacity increase. Gross weight is kept below the nine-tonnes mark, Iveco’s intention being not to transform the LMV into a mini-Mrap. This weight goal should be achieved by

working on the structure and materials of the safety cell. The vehicle is conceived to fully integrate all the net-centric systems as the new Lince will be part of the digitised Army known in Italy as the Forza NEC. According to Iveco DV managers, customers are pointing to the importance of electronic systems integration following problems that surfaced in most vehicle types used downrange when a number of radio, jammers and suchlike were installed. In this respect the Lince has evolved along the years, with a series of improvements in terms of available power and cabling, and a series of contracts is being filed by the Italian MoD to repair and update batches of vehicles on their way back from Afghanistan. However the standard required for new vehicles will be much higher. The Digital LMV shown at DSEI 2013 is a first step towards the Lince 2 solution, incorporating improved protection and enhanced mobility through the provision of automatic drive management. The vehicle on display grossed at 7.75 tonnes. The Bolzano company is also expanding the versions available, and unveiled a CBRN reconnaissance and survey variant in team with Cristanini, the Italian CBRN specialist, at that same exhibition. Turning to exports, the Iveco DV plants are currently producing the last vehicles for Austria, some 50 vehicles having been delivered in 2013 with 50 more to go to complete the 150 vehicles contract, as well

The Sherpa Light in Scout configuration moving into African scenarios; Renault Trucks Defense is developing the vehicle, the latest iteration being the APX-XL shown at DSEI. (RTD)

as the last units of the batch of 358 vehicles ordered by Russia where it is known as the Rys. Final assembly is taking place in Voronezh with some local content. The joint venture between Iveco and Kamaz is frozen following the Moscow decision to cancel the original contract for 1.775 vehicles. By the end of 2014 Iveco DV will complete the deliveries of the 62 fourthgeneration LMVs ordered by Norway in January 2013, the configuration adopted being already an evolution towards the aforementioned Lince 2. The vehicle features a new survival cell with protection improvements, new seats and improved ergonomics, the new driveline offering higher performances allowing for an increased gross weight. Electro-magnetic compatibility is greatly increased, Norway having required the capacity to accommodate numerous GFEs such as radios, BMS, intercom and ECMs, as well as a Kongsberg Protector Nordic weapon station.


Following the Bundeswehr’s choice for the GDELS Eagle V to top up the GFF2 requirement, the KMW/Rheinmetall consortium that developed the 4x4 AMPV (Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicle) is looking at the export market as well as at a wider range of battlefield missions. Powered by a 274 hp Steyr 3.2-litre 6-cylinder turbodiesel, the AMPV in Type 2a configuration (the only developed up to prototype level so far) reached a 10-tonne gross weight with a 2.2-tonne payload at minimum protection level, part of it being tradable for further ballistic protection. With mine protection among the design priorities, the German vehicle has a Level 3a/2b that puts it among the top protected vehicles in its class; an intermediate floor-structure decoupled from the safety cell reduces loads on the lower extremities of the occupants in case of mine explosion. The independent suspension system, based on double

wishbones with two spring-damper per wheel and hydraulic end stop dampers ensure high ground clearance in every terrain adding to protection and high mobility. The vehicle is now equipped as standard issue with a rear-view camera feeding images to the driver on the 6.5-inch display that is also used as vehicle information (status system reports and log book). The AMPV is ready to host mission kits such as C4I systems, jamming equipment, remote-control weapon station or NBC system. So far only the patrol and command vehicle, aimed at the GFF2 bid, has been produced. However the KMW-Rheinmetall team is working on at least three more configurations, a reconnaissance, a logistic and a large compartment vehicle. All of them maintain the 10-tonne gross weight though payload varies (2.2, 2.0, 2.4 and 1.6 tonnes) according to the different empty weights. Both the patrol and the recce versions are fully armoured and feature a

Three views of the Acmat Bastion in the command post and ambulance configurations. Based on the VLRA chassis this vehicle has been sold in numbers to African countries. (RTD)

Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014


The Italian Army is by large the bigger user of Iveco’s LMV; currently the Army is in the final stage of writing the requirements for the Lince 2.0 that will succeed the current version. (RC-West)

RCWS, the reconnaissance variant being also equipped with a rear-mounted telescopic mast with optronic sensors and carrying an extra seat. The logistic version has a front armoured cab and a rear pick-up configuration, while the large compartment features a raised roof and a protected compartment extended along the whole length of the vehicle which considerably increases the internal protected volume. No major news from Mercedes Benz, whose catalogue still features the LAPV 5.4 and the LAPV 6.1. Known as Enok in the German Bundeswehr, which fields 121 such vehicles acquired within the GFF1 programme, it is available in four- and fivedoor versions both rated at 5.4 tonnes gross. What changes is the payload, that decreases from 1,070 to 850 kg in the five-door version. Protection is at Level 2 ballistic and Level 1a/b anti-mine, although an add-on kit can increase the latter to Level 2a. The LAPV 6.1 has remained so far the only development of the 6.X line, the number indicating its GVW in tonnes. The weight increase results from a toughened chassis, while the engine output remains unchanged at 181 hp. The ballistic protection remains the same as the 5.4’s, while the 6.1 features a standard Level 2a floor; this can be however traded for a Level 1a/b floor, to increase the 1.3-tonne standard payload. Until now no LAPV 6.1 seems to have been ordered.


Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014


Unveiled in 2010, the General Dynamics European Land Systems Eagle V was selected by the Zurich Airport Police and by the Swiss Army, which received their first vehicles in 2011 and 2012, and most recently by Germany to complete its GFF2 (Geschützte Führungs und Funktionsfahrzeuge or Armoured Command-and-Control Vehicles) programme. A contract was filed by the German BAAINBw for 100 such vehicles in June 2013, the document containing an option for further 76 vehicles. The latest evolution of the Eagle, the Eagle V maintains numerous commonalities with Eagle IV, already in service with the Bundeswehr, which will help in reducing lifecycle costs. Recent upgrades were made, and with now a 10-tonne gross weight, the Eagle V has a payload capacity of three tonnes, part of which can be used to further improve protection, and can transport two to six military depending on the configuration. Like its predecessor, the Eagle V is based on the Duro IIIP chassis. Mobility is now entrusted to a 250 hp Cummins ISBe 6.7-litre 6-cylinder turbocharged diesel coupled to an Allison 5speed automatic transmission, while suspension relies on a De Dion axle system with patented roll stabilizer. Manufacturing is being carried out both at Kreuzlingen (Switzerland) and Kaiserslautern (Germany), the order keeping the two

assembly lines busy until 2014, or until 2015 should the option be exercised. The first Eagle V will be delivered to the Bundeswehr in early 2014. The Eagle 6x6 is obviously based on the 6x6 version of the Duro, but is powered by a 285 hp engine, and offers a payload capacity 6 tonnes. According to released information no customer has yet ordered this version. I BRITAIN

With the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LLPV) programme well underway it is unclear which will be the target for the incoming Multi Role Vehicle - Protected (MRV-P), the follow-on to the Operational Utility Vehicle System cancelled by the Ministry of Defence a few years ago. How much the programme will aim at a five tonnes vehicle or at something with three times that gross weight is still to be determined, the MRV-P being currently in the hands of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, although following the Afghan experience it is highly probable that it will have sufficient ballistic and mine protection levels. Well proven in Afghanistan with the British Army that renamed it the Foxhound, the Force Protection Europe Ocelot 4x4 that won the LPPV bid back in September 2010 has now totalled 400 orders. Following the first order for 200 vehicles in late 2011 the British Mionistry of Defence ordered a

further batch of 100 Foxhounds in mid 2012, three further orders respectively for 25, 51 and 24 vehicles having been filed between late 2012 and fall 2013. Over 350 have already been delivered by what is now GDLS/Force Protection. The Foxhound crew cell has a deep-V shape that deflects blast reducing the slamdown effect when vehicle lands back after an explosion and this, coupled to the technology adopted in the floor, provides a Level 2B mine protection. The cell is made of composite armour providing Level 3 ballistic protection, and can host two crew members and four dismounts with access via the front left door or the rear door. A reconnaissance variant with only two rear seats and a logistic variant, with a shortened cabin hosting the crew and a pick-up architecture, are also available. The crew cell can be easily replaced as it is fixed to the chassis with four connectors. This allows to adopt other solutions, such as the all-steel cell introduced at DSEI 2013 that gives birth to the so-called Ocelot-S, for “steel”, a lower cost solution that might improve its export chances, GDLS/Force Protection being involved in a tough marketing campaign in various regions such as South America, Northern Africa as well as in the Far and Middle East. On the other hand the higher weight generates a payload capacity reduction. On the SPV400 theme, Supacat has developed three different crew cells for the patrol, utility and WMIK (Weapons Mount Installation Kit) versions, the latter with an open cabin. As for the Zephyr, this has now

The AMPV family was developed by the KMW-Rheinmetall Defence team but for the time being the only version developed was the 2a for the GFF2 programme, which however got the favours of a competing vehicle (Armada/Eric H. Biass)

become a Penman product following the acquisition of Creation by the southernScottish group, Creation remaining the engineering and development company. The agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Eraf Industries has led to the development of the Metras 4x4, an 8-tonne GVW derivative of the Zephyr with a two-tonne payload capacity, capable of carrying a two-man crew and six dismounts. It is powered by an MAN 198 hp commonrail diesel engine and reaches a speed of 120 km/h. The 500-kilo gross weight increase over the Zephyr compensates for the higher weight of the all-steel hull that ensures Level 3 ballistic and Level 3a/2b blast protection. The co-operation between Penman/Creation and Eraf should increase the chances of penetration into Middle East and other markets.

The LAPV 6.1 developed by Mercedes Benz is still looking for a launch customer while the lighter and less protected LAPV 5.4 is in service with the Bundeswehr. (Mercedes Benz)


Mentioning Eraf just above provides a smooth transition to some of the other Middle Eastern products. The Streit Group, a multinational group, with production facilities in Canada, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Russia, India, Jordan, Pakistan and Turkey, but headquartered in Dubai, is more and more active in the military vehicle field, its armoured proposals ranging from heavily protected patrol vehicles up to 6x6 armoured personnel carriers. The one that can be considered part of light armoured vehicles, considering that the word “light” is becoming less and less appropriate even for small patrol vehicles, is the Scorpion, an 11-tonne 4x4 that seats a two-man crew and four dismounts. The vehicle is based on a Vshaped monocoque hull with independent suspensions providing optimal mobility. Powered by a 300 hp turbocharged Cummins 6 Cylinders ISBE 6.7L, it yields a power-to-weight ratio of over 27 hp/tonne and a maximum road speed of over 110 km/h. The 200-litre fuel tank allegedly ensures a cruise range of 800 km. The Spartan can carry a two-man crew and up to four dismounts, providing them with ballistic protection at Level 3 and antimine protection at Level 2a/b. Personnel access and egress the vehicle via two front and two rear doors, an escape hatch being also available on the roof, while a cargo area in the back is available for storing equipment. Unveiled at Eurosatory 2012, the Scorpion is actively marketed worldwide, efforts being apparently concentrated in the Middle East and Latin America. Nimr Automotive recently bagged another success when the United Arab

Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014


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PVP MK3 .70=1 '2-=1 .201= 86+*= @.201= !*B58*!*A 87/20>;*=287 7027. *A #9..Katmerciler, Turkey

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TMV 6X6M .70=1 '2-=1 .201= 86+*= @.201= !*B58*!*A 87/20>;*=287 7027. *A #9..Arzamas, Russia

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Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014


COBRA II .70=1 '2-=1 .201= 86+*= @.201= !*B58*!*A 87/20>;*=287 7027. *A #9..Otokar, Turkey

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VAMTAC ST5 BN3 .70=1 '2-=1 .201= 86+*= @.201= !*B58*!*A 87/20>;*=287 7027. *A #9..Otokar, Turkey

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Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014

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Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014


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Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014

The new Eagle family which is marketed by GDELS-Mowag has scored a new success with the adoption of the Eagle by the Bundeswehr. (GDELS)

Emirates Armed Forces signed an US$820 million contract for a further batch of Nimr 4x4 multipurpose combat vehicles and 6x6 armoured personnel carriers. While the latter can be hardly considered part of this work at 15 tonnes GVW, the 4x4 armoured version of the Nimr with its nine-tonne permissible weight can easily be considered light. Such an intention was announced at IDEX in February 2013 and follows another contract for 800 vehicles, while 500 4x4s were delivered earlier to the Presidential Guard. Nimr Automotive is certainly not relying only on the national customer; in fact the first customer for the Nimr was Libya, which received over 100 vehicles prior to the 2011 Arab Spring and got some more donated in 2013 by the Emirates to the new Libyan government. Libyan vehicles were built in Jordan by Advanced Industries of Arabia, before production moved to the new Nimr Automotive UAE plant. The new country rulers and their armed forces seem willing to go ahead with the contract signed by Gaddafi, the vehicles being of use both for military and paramilitary forces. Another major breakthrough in export was the establishment of Nimr-Algerie Joint Stock Company, a joint venture between the Algerian Defence Mechanical Industry Promotion Group and Tawazun Holdings that has started producing the Nimr at the Khenchela plant. Designed and developed by Emirates Defence Technology in the early 2000, the Nimr has now evolved in a mature product available in 4x4 and 6x6 configurations and at least


Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014

seven different configurations within each of them. The Nimr 4x4 is also in service in Lebanon and Jordan. I SPAIN

The latest iteration of Uro Vehicules Especiales (Uroves) Vehículo de Alta Movilidad Táctico – Vamtac in short – is the ST5, which does not vary much from the S3 although the front design is quite different as well as the interior. Engine, transmission and most of the main components remain the same with minor update. The ST5 is available

in different versions, namely the base version at 5.3 tonnes with an 188 hp engine, the ST5 HD at 6.6 tonnes with a 218 hp engine on option, the 8-tonne 2HD with a 218 hp engine, and finally the 3HD which at 9.5 tonnes is offered on option with 272 hp. In spite of variable outputs, the 3.2-litre turbocharged diesel engine remains the same, but the turbochargers change. Suspensions, hubs and wheels are reinforced as the weight increases. All vehicles feature the same basic Allison transmission, although those under 6.3 tonnes this is a

The first military customer for the Eagle V or New Eagle, the latest version of the Kreuzlingen-produced vehicle, was the Swiss Army. (GDELS)

five-speed system while for those above that mark an extra speed is added. The ST5 3HD BN3 is the armoured version of the heavier weight ST5 that maintains a 1.5-tonne payload capacity in the 4PC version, which can be considered the base version, hosting four to five soldiers. Protection is at Level 3 ballistic, while customers can chose between Level 2a and 2b for anti-mine protection, IED protection level remaining classified. Considering the increase in on-board power requirements Urovesa proposes a standard 28 V/180 A alternator with a 240 A as option. Providing adequate grip is available, the ST5 3HD BN3 can climb a 100% slope and can travel along on a 50% side gradiant. The 140-liter fuel tank ensures an operating range of 600 km, while maximum speed is 110 km/h. While standard vehicles have a 3.55-metre wheelbase, the mortar carrier version sees this stretched to 3.85 metres and features an extended cabin hosting four soldiers. The EOD version has a four- seat cabin, its rear compartment being specially designed for carrying the robot, two disrupters, ordnance disposal suits, shields, power generator and other equipment. All models feature the

The 6x6 version of the Eagle in the ambulance configuration; although derived from a patrol vehicle, it hardly fits in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;lightâ&#x20AC;? category given its weight. (GDELS)

same protection and, depending on models, two, three or four firing ports are available allowing soldiers to use their individual weapons for self defence. In May 2013 the Spanish Ministry of Defence announced a four-year contract that might eventually lead to a total acquisition of 772 vehicles, split between Army (519), Navy (99), UME joint reaction force (78) and Air Force (76), the value of the contract if fully exercised being of â&#x201A;Ź149 million. In 2013

Spain ordered 115 vehicles in eight different configurations, armoured weapon carrier, S-788 shelter carrier, armoured Tow-Spike launcher, command post, communications vehicle, ambulance, Mistral missile launcher reconnaissance. These vehicles will be split between Army and Air Force, the first Navy orders being awaited for 2014. As for export, in 2012 Urovesa delivered the 85 Vamtacs ordered by the Malaysian Army through the national company Master-Defence, which

To lower the cost of its Ocelot, General Dynamics-Force Protection developed a new version that uses the same chassis topped by a new crew cell made of welded steel instead of composites. (Armada/P. Valpolini)

add to the 18 units delivered in the past as 105 mm gun tractor. Among other recent export successes is the half-million Euro contract with Romania for two EOD versions of the S3 (there are thus over 100 Vamtacs in service with the Romanian Army. The Urovesa vehicle is in service in different versions and configurations also in the Dominican Republic with all three services, in Saudi Arabia, in the Moroccan Army, in the Ghana Army and in the Angola police. I AUSTRIA

Radfeld-based Achleitner is proposing two 4x4s that fall into the light armoured vehicles category, being mostly aimed at patrol and utility missions. The lighter one is the Survivor I RCV (Reconnaissance and Command Vehicle), with a GVW of 7.5 tonnes depending on configuration, with a 1.5-tonne payload capacity for the basic version. The vehicle is based on an armoured steel monocoque cell with composite add-ons that provide its occupants (two crew members plus a maximum of five dismounts) with Level 2 ballistic and Level 2a/b mine protection. It also has a deflecting floor and floating seats though IED protection level remains undisclosed. The Survivor I RCV is powered by a 250 hp VM diesel engine, that provides a power-to-weight ratio of over 33 hp/tonne. It is coupled to an Allison automatic transmission with three 100% differential locks and a permanent four-wheel drive traction. The vehicle is fitted with live axles front and rear and with 335/80 R20 run-flat tyres. Its maximum road speed is around 100 km/h while its cruise range is given as 800


Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014

km. The vehicle, which is available in three- or five-door configurations, is outfitted not only for communication equipment and other auxiliary systems, but also for a remotecontrol weapon station on the roof. The Survivor I RCV is offered in five configurations: communications, reconnaissance, border patrol, command and ambulance, the latter being able to carry two crew members, one medical attendant, one seated casualty and one stretcher. The Survivor I RCV is in service with an undisclosed customer. The Survivor HMV (High Mobility Vehicle) is a stretched and heavier version grossing at 11 tonnes with a two-tonne payload, depending on configuration. Slightly longer (15 cm) wider and higher, its ballistic protection level is Level 2 with some areas at Level 3 in the basic configuration, while mine

Supacat is pursuing the marketing of its SPV400, the protection system of which was developed in co-operation with NP Aerospace. (Supacat)

and IED protection remain similar. Also a permanent 4x4 wheel drive, it is provided with the same 335/80 R20 tyres while the engine is replaced by a 250 hp Cummins driving an Allison automatic transmission; however the Cummins engine provides a torque that nearly doubles the 550NM of the RCV engine, thus ensuring optimal crosscountry agility. Its power-to-weight ratio is around 22.7 hp/tonne, while cruise range is given as 700 km. Energy-absorbing folding benches installed on the side of the rear compartment allow to transport up to six soldiers plus crew. The RCV and the HMV are in service with an undisclosed customer. Achleitner further developed its Survivor concept into the Survivor II, with much higher mine protection levels, but due to its dimensions and weight this cannot be included in the light category, being more

An artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impression showing the three versions of the Supacat SPV400: the patrol vehicle in the centre, the utility in the background and the WMIK in the foreground. (Supacat)

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Nimr Automotive has scored numerous victories on the market. The the 6x6 version seen here is now also in production in Algeria. (Armada/P. Valpolini)

an Mrap-like vehicle. New designs currently under development both in the light and heavier vehicles segments should be unveiled in 2014. I RUSSIA

The 2014 acquisition plan for the Russian Army includes, amongst others, the Tigr-M. This is an updated version of the GAZ light armoured vehicle that was submitted to comparative trials in early 2013. This brings back the Tigr into Russian plans following the decision to cancel the contract with Iveco that will limit the number of Italian vehicles in Russian service to 358 instead of the previously agreed 1,775. It is thus quite probable that if the requirement does not change some 1,500 such vehicles might be acquired by Russia. I ISRAEL

The need for armoured light vehicles in Israel led a few companies to develop some products in that category.

The Vamtac S3 developed by Urovesa has now been succeeded by the S5, a very similar vehicle which, depending on protection, can reach a gross weight of up to 9.5 tonnes (Urovesa)

The bigger producer of such vehicles in Israel is certainly Hatehof, whose 8.5-tonne Wolf is now a well proven item with over 250 vehicles in service with the Israeli Defense Forces and other export customers. Based on the Ford F550 chassis, the Wolf ensures a ballistic Level 2 protection while mine protection is a basic Level 1a. The Wolf is

Three versions of Urovesa’s Vamtac S3, the 81 mm mortar carrier adopted by the Spanish Army, the EOD version adopted among others by Romania, and the version with a 12.7 mm RCWS, developed for Spain. (Urovesa)


Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014

available in different configurations, such as logistic, patrol, medical evacuation, rapid intervention, NBC reconnaissance variants and so on. The Wolf made headlines in Israel when it was used to return Gilad Shalit (the soldier kidnapped in June 2006 by a Hamas commando) home from captivity. Hatehof confirmed to Armada International its intention to upgrade its best-selling vehicle to Level 3, while mine protection will remain basic, the vehicle not having even a slight V-shaped belly. Whether this be named Wolf 2 (a vehicle bearing that name having been announced some time ago) is not certain. Some tenders for the Wolf are open, a considerable interest coming especially from Latin America. In the past years Hatehof developed the XTreme, a heavily protected vehicle aimed at a specific undisclosed customer in a deal that however failed to materialise and the vehicle remained at prototype stage. Leveraging the R&D work for that programme the Israeli company developed the Hurricane, a 9.6tonne gross weight vehicle capable of transporting up to seven soldiers. Fitted with four side-doors plus a rear one, it ensures Level 2 ballistic protection with the “A kit” while its bottom provides Level 2a/b mine protection. A “B kit” is available to increase protection to Level 3, but this reduces payload capacity to 2.1 tonnes. Powered by a 245 hp Cummins ISB245, it can cope with 60% gradients and 38% side slopes, while its turning radius can be reduced from 8.2 to 6



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The Russian military decided to acquire a considerable number of Tigr 4x4 vehicles following a policy change decided by the new Minister of Defence. (Gaz)

The Hurricane is the latest vehicle developed by Hatehof, based on the work done by the Israeli company on the X-Treme, and it is awaiting its first customer. (Hatehof)

metres if the selectable rear steering is engaged, an appreciated feature in urban areas. Currently the Hurricane has undergone full ballistic and mine protection tests, as well as mobility trials and awaits a launch customer for full industrialisation. Israel Aerospace Industries involvement in land programmes is often overlooked, yet its Ramta division has been designing and manufacturing successful light armoured vehicles since the 1970s, the latest configuration being the Ram Mk III. Powered by a rear-mounted air-cooled 185 hp Deutz 6.5-litre turbocharged diesel, the Mk III can reach a maximum speed of 96 km/h, but a cruising speed range of some 800 km is given on a fuel tank of 160 litres. A four-

speed automatic transmission with a twospeed transfer case provides good crosscountry capabilities, a 2x4 drive being selectable to reduce wear and consumption for raod driving. Cross-country mobility is enhanced by the choice of 12.5 x 20 MPT radial tyres mounted on run-flat wheels, pneumatics being bigger than those adopted on most vehicles of equivalent class. The Ram has a steel monocoque hull with V-shaped underbelly that provides Level 2a/b mine protection, the crew being protected against the ballistic threat at Level 2, which can be increased to Level 3 using an add-on kit. A ceramic kit has recently been adopted to increase protection while remaining within acceptable weights. With a curb weight of 5.3

tonnes, the MkIII has a 1.2-tonne payload, which means that its power-to-weight ratio reaches 27.6 hp/tonne. Available with long or short wheelbase, the Ram seats its driver plus up to seven soldiers who access the vehicle via one or two back- or front-hinged doors per side as per customer requirements. Air transportable by C-130 and Antonov An-12, the Ram in its various versions and configuration is in service in over ten countries with military and paramilitary units in Asia, Latin America, Africa, Vietnam, Chad, Botswana and Gabon. In the mid-2000 Plasan Sasa developed a 4x4 offroad vehicle known as the Sand Cat, based on a shortened Ford F-series chassis. I SOUTH AFRICA

In 2013 the South African arm of BAE Systems completed the delivery of 170 RG32 to Sweden, which were acquired under two separate contracts, bringing to 370 the number of vehicles in service in that country. Another Scandinavian country, Finland, received 25 more in 2013, bringing

A solid commercial success for Hatehof, the Wolf is evolving into a more protected vehicle that should appear within 2014. (Hatehof)

IAI Ramta Ram MkIII has a uncommon architecture for a 4x4 vehicle as its engine is installed in the boot. (IAI Ramta)

In late 2013 Hema discontinued its co-operation with Streit and is now working on new vehicles among which is the HHD-1 4x4, which should be unveiled in mid 2014. (Hema)

its own total to 80. Some 27 RG32 LTV are already in service with Ireland while numerous RG32Ms are in service with the United Nations. The base vehicle, the RG32M, has a 2,90metre wheelbase and a curb weight of 7.5 tonnes in the basic configuration, with a max weight of 9.5 tonnes. Powered by a 181hp Steyr M16TCA turbodiesel, it carries a two-man crew plus four or six dismounts, depending on options fitted. These are protected at Level 1 ballistic, which can be increased to Level 2 with add-on armour, mine protection being against the DM31standard anti-personnel mine. The LTV, for light tactical vehicle, has a longer 3.34-metre wheelbase with a curb weight increased by 1.2 tonnes due to the extended cabin and increased mine protection to Level 2a/b (ballistic protection remaining unchanged). Propulsion is courtesy of a beefier 268hp Steyr M16SCI turbocharged diesel. Standard configuration hosts two crew members and two dismounts. BAE Systems also offers the RG34, a 4x4 protected at Level 2 ballistic and Level 2a/b anti-mine with a curb weight of 7.5 tonnes plus a two-tonne payload allowance. It carries a two-man crew and seat for six dismounts. For the time being no RG34 has scored any sales. The Integrated Convoy Protection (ICP) range includes two families of mineprotected vehicle models, the Reva III and Reva V, the former grossing at around 10 tonnes. Based on a monocoque V-shaped hull the Reva III is available with three different wheelbases â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2,27, 3,24, and 3,40 metres with respective gross weight ratings of 9.1, 9.24 and 10.8 tonnes. The relative small difference between the Reva SWB and


Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014

the Reva III Standard LWB in terms of curb weight, respectively 7.4 and 7.95 tonnes although nearly one metre separates their wheel bases, is due to different protection levels; the Standard LWB is at Stanag Level 3b mine protection and a 6 mm armour protection plate against IEDs with level B5 ballistic protection (i.e. 5.56 and 5.45 mm ball) while the SWB maintains the same mine protection level, but sees IED protection increased thanks to the addition of a 6mm secondary armour skin to the original 6mm armour protection plate, ballistic protection being also increased at Level B6+. The Long Wheel Base maintains the latter levels and has a curb weight of 9.5 tonnes. All powered by the same 170hp GBT 5.9 155 30 turbodiesel engine, the long wheelbase accommodates a two-man crew and eight dismounts, while the short wheelbase sees the rear compartment seats halved. ICP Reva

vehicles in their different versions are in service in South Africa and in numerous other countries among which are Somalia, Equatorial Guinea, Thailand, Yemen and South Sudan, some vehicles having also been used by US Special Forces in Iraq. I AUSTRALIA

News is scarce on the Thales Australia front as far as the Hawkei is concerned, the company having delivered on schedule all six test vehicles to the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation in the frame of the Land 121 Phase 4. The two last vehicles, delivered in late May 2013, were in reconnaissance guise and joined, together with a trailer, the two Command and the two Utility vehicles delivered earlier. The command version has a four-door cabin that can seat up to five soldiers and has a 10.2-tonne gross weight over seven-tonne

Nearly 400 RG-32 have been sold by BAE Systems South Africa in Scandinavia, Sweden being the major customer for this 4x4 lightweight vehicle. (BAE Systems)

A prototype of the Thales Hawkei undergoes trials in north Queensland in September 2013 as part of the Stage 2 development and testing phase for Land 121 Phase 4 programme. (Australian MoD)

kerb rating. The utility version retains the protected cabin, capable of hosting up to three soldiers and features a rear flatbed allowing payload capacity increase to 3.4 tonnes (due to the reduction of the armoured volume). If equipped with the B-kit armour system, which can be installed by troops on operations in less than 30 minutes without the need for special tools, the decrease in

Underbelly Protection


ne of the most critical issues for light armoured vehicles is the protection against mines or roadside bomb explosions, whether these occur under the wheels or the belly. The latter is of course the worst case because it happens under the crew compartment and penetration must be avoided. However, penetration is not the only cause of casualties: the acceleration generated by the explosion, and the resultant sudden upward acceleration and subsequent strong deceleration once the vehicle heavily lands back on earth can be lethal even if the vehicle floor survived the blast. New solutions to absorb energy and reduce as much as possible the thrusting effects of the explosion are thus being developed. QinetiQ North America developed a blast absorption system known as BlastPro to reduce by three to five times the energy transmitted to the vehicle. No details about the type of technology used have obviously been disclosed, apart from the fact that the solution is applicable to both new vehicles and refurbished vehicles, meaning that it can be fitted as an add-on to flat and V-shaped underbellies. Reducing up to five times the gforce means that the height reached by the vehicle following an explosion will be 40 to 50% less. The weight issue is always a concern, and according to QinetiQ its solution is lighter than existing solutions at equivalent cost. The BlastPro was submitted to extensive analysis with state-of-the art modelling environments from Level I to Level IV+ and has then been tested on scaled models and finally on full scale vehicles.


Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014

Acquired by 3M in late November 2012, Ceradyne developed an energy absorption add-on bottom for the Humvee that adds only 300 kg while reducing by 30% the blast energy mitigating the lift effect while also providing fragment protection and impulse reduction. The low-weight solution was obtained using an aluminium based periodic cellular material known as MicroTruss developed by Cellular Materials International that boasts a density of 58 kg/m2, which is nearly half that of an equivalent monolithic metal solution weighing 112 kg/m2. Fractional information on a new active system by TenCate has been around for some time, however details were difficult to get. Finally at AUSA 2013 the company unveiled its ABDS System. The system does not so much aim at improving the protection given by the floor as to reducing the transfer of deadly mine blast impulse energy to vehicle occupants by managing acceleration forces. This is effected by exploiting a physical principle known as conservation of energy, in other words by tossing in the air a countermass. This is well known amongst recoilless rocket launcher users as the “Davis effect”. Reaction must, however, be nearly instantaneous, as the time elapsed between the moment the shockwave hits the vehicle’s bottom and the moment the vehicle starts to lift-off is very short – an estimated five milliseconds. To eject the countermass at the desired speed a minimal quantity of insensitive explosive is needed. The concept was proved at the Danish premises, trials being conducted on an M113. It showed that the system was able to react within the

3M-Ceradyne underbelly energy absorption system is based on the MicroTruss cellular material developed by Cellular Materials International, which allows to considerably reduce blast effects. (Armada/P. Valpolini)

required interval to hold the vehicle down on the ground. The development then shifted on the other side of the Ocean, with trials carried out with an undisclosed OEM. This carried out autonomous test firings getting to the conclusion that what used to be an unsurvivable accident was becoming quite survivable using the ABDS. To understand the results a quick note about the DRI (Dynamic Response Index), an index used in crash evaluations that measures the likelihood of spinal damage arising from a vertical shock load such as a mine blast, a helicopter crash, or an ejection on board a fighter aircraft. DRI is proportional to the maximum spinal compression suffered during an event, the life threatening threshold being around 17.5. The tests carried out by the OEM have shown that with the ABDS off, the driver

payload compared to that of the command version will certainly be lesser. However no details were provided by Thales on the configurations provided to the customer. The Stage 2 development and testing phase was announced in June 2012 and was funded to the tune of $US37 million. This followed a Stage 1 testing that took place after the Hawkei was selected as the Manufactured and Supported in Australia (MSA) option in December 2011. The first Stage 2 were delivered in December 2012. In September 2013 the vehicles were submitted to a first round of testing in north Queensland, heading for a 100,000 km run,

anthropomorphic test dummy experienced a 23.6 DRI, while the right rear passenger DRI reached 35.2, which respectively are 50% and 100% over the critical limit. The vehicle jumped at over 2.4 metres with significant damages, while the dummies indicated that neither the driver nor the passenger would have survived. The test was then repeated switching the ABDS on: the vehicle jumped one metre, a 58% decrease, while the two dummies experienced respectively an 11.4 DRI and a 14.6 DRI, with a reduction of 52% and 58% respectively, sensors showing that injuries would be much less critical and that the two occupants would have survived, while the cab did not suffer any damage. The ABDS is made of countermeasures, sensors, a processor and a man-machine interface, the latter used to switch on and off the system. Each countermeasure is coupled to a sensor, and comes in the form of a sort of jerry can that is fixed on the outer side of the vehicle; up to four such countermeasures can be installed, depending on the vehicle. No details were released about the sensors and the type of countermass used, although it makes sense to think about improved sensors used in the automotive world for safety systems such as airbags, the only information being that the accelerators used are proprietary. A redundant signal is sent to the computer by the sensors, the initial impulse being measured for energy intensity; if the impulse signature is recognised as being generated by an explosion then the computer sends an impulse to the countermeasures switching them to ready. A further data check is carried out before the processor confirms the threat and triggers a tuned recoil response to optimise the effect, the insensitive explosive thrusting the countermass upwards. The

although most of the testing will take place at the Monegeetta Proving Ground in Victoria. No decision is expected before 2015, the Australian MoD also considering off-theshelf solutions including the US JLTV, although the initial provision of prototypes of JLTV contenders has been abandoned. Overall Land 121 Phase 4, which will represent the bulk of the Australian Defence Forces deployable capability, will include some 1,300 vehicles and respective trailers to replace current 4x4 and 6x6 unprotected Land Rovers. To win the contract Thales Australia will need to demonstrate its capacity to meet technical performance, cost and time

scheduling. Foreign options, such as the US JLTV in which Australia invested some us$40 million in the technology development phase (without entering the engineering and manufacturing development phase) are currently considered back-up solutions should the Hawkei miss the target. I JAPAN

The self-imposed ban on defence hardware export by Japan might soon come to an end, should the new security strategy that calls for a more active role be voted by the Parliament. This would mean a further competitor on the defence market, in a

The impressive sequence shows the different behaviours of a standard vehicle and a Tencate ABDS-equipped equivalent when exposed to the explosion of a buried explosive device. (Tencate)

system is tuneable and scalable, changing the number of countermass or installing countermass of different size. In terms of weight, the ABDS for an Humvee has a mass between 250 and 300 kg. Power consumption is limited, which together with reduced dimensions and weight allows to install it on many types of vehicles. TenCate considers the

ABDS ready for production and is planning to test it on as many types of vehicles as possible. In October 2003 TenCate Advanced Armor USA and the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command signed a multi-year co-operative research and development agreement to pursue full evaluation of the company ABDS.

Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles 2014


ON THE COVER: Otokar has carved itself a fine niche in the light armoured vehicle world, particularly with the Cobra seen here, but the Turkish firm is now turning up with new vehicles to meet the growing competition described in this Compendium. Compendium Light Armoured Vehicles Supplement to Issue 1/2014 Volume 38, Issue No. 1, February-March 2014 INTERNATIONAL

Three views of the Komatsu KU50W, pictured in southern Iraq in late 2004. If Japan alters its legislation on defence equipment exports, a new competitor might soon enter the light armoured vehicles scene. (Armada/P. Valpolini

moment where budgets are shrinking. As Japanese vehicles do not appear at international defence exhibitions, not much is known about them. Moreover Japan Self Defence Forces do not take part, for the time being, in multinational deployments around the world. This is however not entirely true: in November 2004 exiting the main base at the Nasiriyah airport in Iraq a group of light armoured vehicles were adorned with large Japanese flags. At first glance they looked similar to Panhard VBLs, but upon closer look they were a totally different vehicle. These few belonged to the Japanese Iraq Reconstruction and Support Group. A 4.5-tonne curb weight vehicle, the KU50W was designed and manufactured by

Komatsu Defense Systems Division to carry four seated soldiers plus a machine gunner (a 7.62 or 12.7 mm machine gun mounted on the roof with the hatches providing some form of protection to the machine gunner). An antitank missile can be installed in place of the automatic weapon. Powered by a 160 hp engine it can reach 100 km/h. No information is available on its armour, but a Level 1-2 seems reasonable considering weight and dimensions. Access is through two doors per side and a rear door. Over 1,600 vehicles are currently in service with the Japanese Ground Self Defence Force. In perspective, experience acquired with the KU50W might bring Japan among the meaningful players in the light armoured vehicle field.

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