02 Feb 10. An all-new modular design concept in highly-mobile, lightweight military trucks, underpins the development of a unique 6×6 military vehicle by British manufacturer TMV, launched in production form at the recent International Armoured Vehicles Conference.
The rapidly-changing marketplace, with a continually-evolving insurgent threat, has given birth to the unique, six-wheel drive, six-wheel steer, TMV 6x6M. This, the first in a line of British-designed, purpose-built vehicles from TMV, focuses on the logistical requirement for highly-manoeuvrable military transport weighing up to eight tonnes GVW. Significantly, the modular design concept enables product extension to 4×4 and 8×8 variants.
By nature of time constraints and practicality, the majority of current vehicle solutions in this category have had to be based on existing chassis technologies, adapted for purpose. As such, they are inevitably compromised in certain aspects.
Furthermore, continually-changing deployment requirements focus on the need to deliver multiple assets with low utilisation rates and a high logistic footprint and, in answer to the insurgent threat, a fresh approach to both ballistic and blast protection.
Against this backdrop, the uniquely-engineered TMV 6x6M, based on established aerospace and racing car construction principles, features a structural V-shaped tub chassis of stainless steel, entirely clad with blast plate, to provide enhanced levels of protection against mines and IEDs, married to the usage of new generation, high-technology construction materials.
The design and construction concept has resulted in an immensely lightweight infrastructure that can be easily and effectively protected with a variety of solutions up to STANAG 3, whilst still enabling high levels of payload. The innovative TMV vehicle architecture enables extreme flexibility in the basic vehicle form, responding in both its deployment capability and level of threat usage, delivering a high-performance capability both on and off-road, and enabling a payload which fits between current light utility vehicles and the medium tactical trucks.
Commenting on the TMV’s unique design and structure, John Stretton, TMV Managing Director, explains: “We have designed and developed the TMV vehicle concept from a clean sheet of paper, to meet today’s military needs, rather than having to modify an existing platform. Consequently, we have configured the most appropriate type and shape of V-tub chassis to deflect mine and IED blast, and to optimise the location of the vehicle’s driveline and primary components.”
This freedom from constraints led to optimum engineering solutions that enable excellent vehicle dynamics and on/off road performance with a high payload, even when the vehicle is configured to carry high levels of protective armour.
The ‘clean sheet’ approach has also enabled TMV to design a purpose-built cab structure, which can be specified as a 100% composite pod, providing high levels of protection without suffering a high weight penalty, while the bespoke nature allows for other blast and ballistic solutions to be used with a variety of materials.
The modular principle also applies to the removable ‘pod’ configuration of the rear superstructure, which is specified according to role and mission – e.g. SF, workshop, utility, APC etc – and which again can be constructed in 100% carbon composite for ballistic protection.
Considerable attention has been devoted to impact on the logistical footprint and, as such, the TMV 6x6M driveline units are configured using solutions that are frequently to be found on existing vehicles, including the Cummins engine and Allison gearbox.
Mounted low-down in the middle of the vehicle, weight distribution is optimised which, together with a low centre of gravity, greatly assists the vehicle’s dynamic performance. Easy access and serviceability have been achieved using downstream input from