MILITARY VEHICLE NEWS
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24 Feb 09. One of the vehicles making its first appearance (Outside Display Area) this year at IDEX was the BTR-4 (8×8) armoured personnel carrier (APC) from Ukraine, developed by the famous Kharkov Morozov Building Design Bureau, with production being undertaken by the Malyshev Factory. The BTR-4 is now entering production for the Ukrainian armed forces, which have ordered an initial batch of 10 vehicles, expected to be completed later this year. This is the first of its type to be developed in Ukraine, since earlier 8×8 vehicles were based on the Russian BTR series, with the powerpack at the rear, which limits the roles the vehicle can undertake. It has commander and driver at the very front, to the rear of which is the compact diesel powerpack. Further to the rear is the troop compartment. Troops are seated either side, facing inwards on seats that are not attached to the floor for higher crew survivability in the event of the vehicle running over a mine.
BTR-4 can be fitted with a wide range of weapon stations. The example being shown at IDEX is equipped with a locally developed turret armed with a 30mm cannon, 7.62mm co-axial machine gun and a bank of two locally developed Barrier anti-tank guided weapons with a maximum range of 5,500m, mounted on the right side of the turret. In appearance, the BTR-4 is very similar to the German Fuchs, but because it is an 8×8 design rather than 6×6, it has greater interior volume. In addition to the baseline armoured personnel carrier, a wide range of variants have been proposed, including ambulance, command and staff vehicle, mortar carrier and repair and recovery vehicle. (Source: Jane’s)
Feb 09. Being shown for the first time at IDEX was a complete range of vehicles designed, developed and manufactured by the Armoured Vehicles & Heavy Equipment Factory, which is part of the Military Industries Corporation of Saudi Arabia. The latest two armoured vehicles at IDEX was the Al Shibl 1 and Al Shibl 2, both of which are in quantity production and in service with the Saudi Ministry of Defence and Aviation. They are based on a proven Toyota Land Cruiser (4×4) cross-country chassis and are powered by a 221hp petrol engine coupled to a manual transmission, which gives a maximum speed of up to 120km/h on roads. The allwelded steel hull provides the occupants with protection from 7.62mm small arms fire, although higher levels of protection are available. The three-crew Al Shibl 1 is typically used for the reconnaissance role, for which it is fitted with a roof-mounted protected weapon station armed with a 7.62mm or .50 machine gun (MG), or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher and has a gross vehicle weight of about 3.6 tonnes. Al Shibl 2 has a longer wheelbase and a GVW of 4.6 tonnes, and typically has a crew of two plus seven troops. The example shown at IDEX is fitted with a remote overhead weapon station armed with a .50 (12.7mm) MG. Standard equipment includes run-flat tyres and armoured glass, which provides the same level of protection as the hull. The company has also undertaken a number of upgrade programmes for the home and export markets, which include repowering the French Panhard General Defense AML-60 and AML-90 armoured cars and the M3 APC. In addition, the company has produced a range of special vehicles based on a Toyota chassis, for multi-role missions and special tasks. (Source: Jane’s)
Feb 09. At IDEX two years ago, a full-scale mock-up of the Multi-Purpose Combat System (MPCS) was shown in the Middle East for the first time integrated onto a local chassis. Since then rapid progress has been made, and this year, a functional demonstrator MPCS turret was shown on the MBDA Stand. MPCS is being developed as a private venture by MBDA (France) and Rheinmetall Defence (Germany) to meet emerging user requirements for a highly mobile w