Aug 02. Last year BATTLESPACE drove the 4×4 Supacat HMT at the company’s test track and the results to say the least were impressive. The compact design coupled to a powerful 180hp Cummins diesel gives the vehicle unrivalled performance.
The vehicle has attracted the interest of a number of manufacturers. BAE SYSTEMS and INSYS are both evaluating the vehicle for the LIMAWS(R) application for a rocket pod carrier and XM777 gun tractor. In addition the 3.2 tonne carrying capacity makes it ideal as a joint limber/tractor. The 6×6 variant has an impressive payload of 6 tonnes.
Since the selection of the Supacat HMT for the Special Reconnaissance Vehicle (SRV) for the UK, the vehicle has become a system of choice for a number of important roles knocking on the door of the roles for which the Bucher DURO was, in some quarters, seen as the only contender. The 6×6 variant has been chosen by Thales and Lockheed Martin for the Watchkeeper role and was demonstrated by the latter during Farnborough. Other possible roles include system truck for the Falcon system which also has an armoured requirement fulfilled by MRAV and the Skynet 5 vehicle.
HMT is a versatile load carrier for payloads of up to 3.2 tonnes equal to 2 x 1.6 tonne NATO pallets or 3 x Euro pallets. The two seat forward control cab and the mid-mounted engine, results in a compact vehicle with very good vision and good weight distribution and the ability to drive into Chinook CH47.
Suspension, front and rear, is double wishbone with inboard mounted air springs operating through a rocker and push rods. Twin shock absorbers for each of the large diameter wheels control the suspension even over the roughest terrain. The suspension components are all rubber mounted onto a steel plate fabrication to make an axle assembly. These axle assemblies are joined by a deep square tube frame with rollover structure to form a complete rolling chassis frame to which cab and body variants are mounted. Variable ride heights from a minimum ground clearance of 180mm to a maximum of 530mm, combined with spring rates proportional to load, give a very comfortable ride for the crew.
The turbo-charged Cummins diesel engine and 5 speed auto-transmission is equipped with a transfer case using high and low ratios and full time 4 wheel drive, and later 6 wheel drive, which can be locked when the going gets tough! Power assisted ABS ventilated discs brakes on all wheels and transmission-parking brake gives adequate stopping power.
The result is a range of vehicles that meets the demands of the highest efficiency for ‘off road’, ‘on road’ and motorway operation. Using the best in design expertise, the un-laden weight has been kept low to give maximum payload weight and space.