BIDDERS TO UK SV CONTRACT RESPOND TO ‘LESSONS LEARNT’
04 May 04. In response to our piece LESSONS LEARNT IN IRAQ PUT OSHKSOH IN FRAME FOR UK SUPPORT VEHICLE’ (BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.6 ISSUE 18, 07 May 2004), Regis Luther, Engineering Vice President for Stewart & Stevenson rang BATTLESPACE on 04 Mar 04 to discuss the armoring requirement.
“Two years ago we saw an urgent need for truck cabs to be armored and to that end we initiated a project to build an armored cab into the body of our truck. The result was the new Low Signature Armored Cab (LSCAC) for the FMTV fleet of vehicles being built for the U.S. Army by Stewart & Stevenson. (See BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.6 ISSUE 9, March 8th 2004, STEWART & STEVENSON SHOW NEW ARMORED CAB). By designing the armor into the existing truck framework we only add 1 tonne of weight to the vehicle which keeps it within the weight and airportability requirement for the UK MoD and retains the cost effectiveness in the 4×4 configuration along with its full off road mobility ratings.
The C-130 air transportable LSAC replaces the existing cab in a remove and replace operation taking 2 people 4 hours. This approach effectively makes the complete MoD Support Vehicle Programme fitted for but not with armour which is a valuable logistics feature in MoD fielding flexibility. This is compared to other hang on armour approaches which require fitted for but not with features and cost incorporated at initial vehicle build. The new cab is for 2-3 people, fully air conditioned, with a weapons station and Chemical Air Filtration system-equipped. The mine protection exceeds NATO STANAG 4569 2a to 3a, level 3a blast and provides the FMTV family with cabs which provide the crew protection from assault rifle rounds, land mines and artillery fragments and the growing IED roadside threat but keeping it within C-130 transportability. This armoured cab by Stewart & Stevenson exceeds the MoD armour requirement.
This very capable armouring solution is a further example of the advances in technology and vision that Stewart & Stevenson continues to demonstrate and make available to the MoD today and in the future.
Daimler Chrysler told BATTLESPACE, “The protection level we offered to the MoD and which we are still confident in achieving is the same for all S2000 4×4, 6×6 and 8×8: Against bullets up to Dragnuov 7,62×54 RB32 API and grenade fragments including STANAG 4569 level 3a (we exclude however 7,62×51 AP(WC)ammunition which is also part of STANAG 4569 level 3, but is very seldom and would require a significant increase in protection weight). Against Anti-Personal-Mines according to STANAG 4569 level 1 which is up to the German DM31-AP-Mine with 0,5 kg of TNT and performed fragments, detonating in any position under the cab of the vehicle (the mine jumps up when initiated).”
“One main features of our vehicle design is the floor of the cab being made of thick sheet metal giving integrated protection against AP-Mines and providing a a strong basis with a defined interface to install a protection kit into the cab. A second important feature is the cab in conventional position, distributing its weight and the weight of the armour on front and rear axle and consequently allowing a high protection level also for relatively light 4×4 vehicles. A second rear axle is no solution to avoid the overload of the front axle due to the weight of the protection kit as still all the weight will be carried by the single front axle. With cab over engine only a 8×8 with its 2 front axles will be able to carry the weight of a powerful protection kit.”
Chris Wright of Daimler Chrysler continued, “We believe that we offer the best solution, the best support and the best value for money. When you couple this with our industrial proposals for UK plc we believe we are second to none. We understand of course that our competitors might be offering their ‘non-compliant’ vehicles at a lower acquisition price but we sugges