04 May 05. BATTLESPACE Editor saw the latest development of the Mowag Duro range, the Duro III 6×6, during a visit to Penman Engineering in Dumfries.
BATTLESPACE has in the past made a number of adverse comments on the engineering development and the capability of previous models, particularly the Duro I chosen by the UK MoD for the Cormorant role and latterly replaced with the Duro II. Edwin Hunter, Chairman of Penman, told the Editor that he had nothing but praise for the vehicle. Penman is currently converting a number of chassis with armour and box bodies for an Irish Army EoD requirement.
Quite clearly with the Mowag/General Dynamics engineering capability input, the Duro III is quite clearly a leap ahead in technology from previous models and a clear contender for the role envisaged for the HMT vehicle. The HMT range is currently suffering from the jump from development to production vehicle and the related engineering requirements. The current builders Supacat and DML are looking at engineering developments whilst the MoD is currently looking for bids from industry to build 20 vehicles for DML, given DML’s current overhead structure which precludes the true profitability small build projects. In addition any builder taking on the task would have to prove the 6×6 vehicle under Type Approval. BATTLESPACE has spoken to a number of likely contenders to build the vehicle, all of whom appear reluctant to take on the task under the current contractual and ILS requirements.
The Editor has been invited to drive the DURO III 6×6, at first sight it appears to be a highly mobile middle class off-road truck based on the proven DURO family of vehicles. Duro vehicles are in operation world-wide, particularly in Germany and Portugal, and were developed for military requirements and applications from the start; more than 3500 vehicles are in operation worldwide. The compact design of the DURO results in low vehicle width and height which makes it C-130 aircraft transportable and the very high payload is unique in its class.
The vehicle is composed of the following three main elements:
* The highly mobile chassis, developed and manufactured by MOWAG
* The drivers cabin
* The superstructure which is built to suit the mission role requirements of the customer
The DURO is a three-axle, multi-purpose vehicle, powered by a six-cylinder diesel engine. The permanent all-wheel drive is controlled by a 5-speed automatic gearbox as well as by a two-range transfer case. All axle and inter-axle differential are of TORSEN self-locking type.
The DE-DION type of front and rear axle(s) are suspended with coil springs. A patented stabilizer system allows axle twisting in off-road situations and prevents body rolling on road. The stabilizer system and the self-locking TORSEN differentials together with the long wheel travel results in outstanding mobility on- and off-road.
The upper side of the chassis is free-standing and allows the installation of different superstructures while maintaining a low center of gravity.
4-stroke Diesel engine, 6 cylinder, EURO III certification. Water-cooling and electronically-controlled viscous fan drive. 250 hp / 184 kW
Allison Series 2000, Five-speed automatic transmission. Fully automated just as with a civilian vehicle
MOWAG 2 S 22, Synchromesh two-range transfer case with longitudinal TORSEN differential with High/ Low gear mode.
Torsion-resistant chassis, main structure welded in steel hollow profiles equipped with towing eyes at rear, tie down eyes at the centre.
MOWAG DE DION : De-Dion rigid axles with wheel hub gear. Wattlinkage and central located spherical joint. The differential is located in the frame with the brakes. Driven by a brevet gear transmission, TORSEN differential and homokinetic drive shafts to the spur gear hub drives.