Otokar general manager Serdar Görgüç unveiled the advanced capabilities of the leading Turkish armored vehicle manufacturer’s newest 8×8 armored personnel carrier (APC). This new model is a larger and stronger version of Otokar’s Arma 6×6, which was able to score major export success to overseas.
“The [Arma] 8×8 is a continuation of the series and prodives best-in-class mobility on both land and sea, advanced ballistic protection, modular architecture, extra-large internal volume and reduced maintenance and operational costs,” said Mr. Görgüç. “We are undoubtful that Arma will be extremely successful in service with the Turkish Armed Forces and on the international area.”
Design of the 8×8 version was started during the development of the earlier Arma 6×6 in order to save on mounting R&D costs. By the end of a 4-year development stage, Otokar has produced 3 prototypes of the new Arma and the company will be ready to start serial production of all models by end of the third quarter of 2011. Because the vehicles were fully developed in-house by Otokar, all patents and intellectual property rights of the vehicles belong to the company. This enables Otokar to market and export the vehicles, as well as any modular add-ons or services, to export customers around the world without any restrictions or royalty fees to Otokar’s traditional international development partners.
Load ‘em up for the ’flight’
Arma 8×8 comes standard with a powerful front-placed engine and new-generation hydropneumatic suspension that enable the APC to transport 12 fully-equipped battle troops to a distance of over 750 kilometers on tough terrain and without the need to refuel or resupply. Maximum carrying capacity for cargo is rated at a jaw dropping 24 tons. Given the long range and extreme loads the vehicle can handle without resupply is a major indication of Arma’s fuel efficiency.
Similar APCs in the 8×8 class are all produced very wide, heavy and bulky in order to provice enough internal room and adaquate ballistic protection for the troops and payload. This makes them too large or heavy for aerial transportation aboard the widely used C-130 cargo planes. Because Arma is engineered with and is a direct product of the latest manufacturing technologies available, it simply does not make any compromises. Vehicle can be loaded on and airlifted to the world’s most extreme conflict zones via the C-130 or other similar cargo planes.
Nothing stops the Arma
Full amphibic capability allows the Arma to cross deep rivers, lakes and even seas. Vehicle’s operator can easily switch from powerful 8×8 mode to the more fuel efficient 8×4 mode or from land navigation to amphibic excursion at the push of a button. Even more impressive is Arma’s ability to climb slopes of a whopping 60% inclination while tilted 30% to either side; an immense leap in wheeled-APC mobility that was previously reserved for only tracked APCs.
Arma is capable of operating day and night and under adverse weather conditions.
Modular design, firepower and built-in stealth
Arma features a unique architecture that enables the engineers to customize the vehicle’s components and tweak its subsystems for the specific needs of the vehicle’s end users, an important advantage that allows the vehicle to satisfy a very wide range of mission requirements with ease.
Arma comes with a large set of standard and optional sensors, one of which is a 4th-generation thermal camera with 360 degree field of view, allowing the operator to drive the Arma in stealth mode, that is at night with no visible lights on, or to see far behind thick blocks of smoke, dust and fog. Camera provides full awareness of the vehicle’s surroundings and any threats available. Laser warning receivers, [Aselsan’s] software-defined digital radios and C4I system, infrared jammers, smoke screen launchers, NBC protection, add-on composite armor, anti-RPG mesh, active missile protection, self-towing package and advanced mine protection are a few of the available options.
A variety of turrets can be applied to be used in conjunction with the sensors, depending on the individual mission requirements and needs of the customers. These include remote controlled machine guns of different calibers, anti-tank missile launchers, mortars, comprehensive electronic warfare pods, as well as anti-aircraft guns and missile launchers.
Arma 8×8 will be showcased at the IDEF 2011 international defence industry fair in Istanbul, from May 10 through 13.
Hasan Karaahmet – TRDEFENCE