MAN DEMONSTRATES CAPABILITY IN ARMOURING TRUCKS
26 May 04. Following on from our pieces (BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.6 ISSUE 18, 07 May 2004, ‘LESSONS LEARNT IN IRAQ PUT OSHKSOH IN FRAME FOR UK SUPPORT VEHICLE’, BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.6 ISSUE 19, 14 May 2004, ‘BIDDERS TO UK SV CONTRACT RESPOND TO ‘LESSONS LEARNT’), MAN has given BATTLESPACE details of its armouring capability.
The need for wheeled logistic vehicle crews to be protected from ballistic, fragmentation and mine attack has grown with the increasingly asymmetric nature of warfighting and other operational scenarios. In order to protect the crews of MAN vehicles deployed on SFOR operations in the Balkans MAN developed a modular armour crew protection kit. The kit was designed to be fitted to the external surfaces of the cab. Following extensive ballistic testing the kits were deployed in 1997.
The almost cubic shape of the MAN X-cab with its even surfaces makes an external armour kit comparatively easy to install. It also leaves the internal cab space and operational interface entirely unaffected. With the radiator mounted behind the cab and with no linkages, tubes or wiring looms penetrating the protected front panel, the risk of ‘ballistic holes’ is minimized.
With the experience gained in the Balkans MAN has further developed the modular armour kit concept with regards to flexibility, service life and cost. The external mounting points for the armoured panels can now be fitted to the latest F97 cab generation during manufacture. Therefore any vehicle that has been manufactured with integral mounting points can have the armour kit fitted. This gives the operational flexibility to fit and remove the armour kits to any vehicle as and when required.
With front axle load ratings between 7,5 and 9 tonnes, the armour can be fitted to 4×4, 6×6 and 8×8 vehicle types without any restrictions on the prescribed mobility, payload or air transportation gauge. Further, the customer has a choice of ballistic protection levels ranging between STANAG 4569 levels 1 and 3 as well as anti-personnel mine protection exceeding level 1 (up to DM31).
As a result of its experiences in the Balkans, and for special operations, the German Bundeswehr considerably increased its requirement for mine blast protection for the MAN 8×8 high mobility hook-loading vehicle.
This lead MAN and Krauss-Maffei to design and develop a fully integrated armoured steel cab. This cab provides anti tank mine protection at level 3b (8kg TNT midsize under truck) and ballistic protection at level 3 and per requirement of the German Bundeswehr in conjunction with STANAG 4569. Following successful ballistic and mine detonation testing in 2002 / 2003 the pre-series vehicles are now undergoing operational validation trials and are expected to enter service in 2005.
It is important to recognise that if logistic vehicles are operating in an environment hostile enough to warrant that level of protection then the fewest and shortest journeys possible should be made, hence the high payload / high mobility vehicle. Other NATO armed forces have expressed their intention to procure the vehicle with a fully integrated armoured steel cab, including the Norwegian and Danish forces. MAN continues to develop its capability in the protection of vehicle crews.