Penman's Creation MRV and design roles find their niche
UK – Defence Vehicle Dynamics, Millbrook
Penman’s design house, Creation, flew the group’s flag on the off-road section of DVD 2012 this week, with a display which revealed the latest iterations and design maturity of its Multi-Role Vehicle - Protected (MRV-P) packages. Also making its debut appearance on the Penman stand was Metras, the initial production variant of a new, MRV-derived platform, developed jointly between Penman Group and its Saudi Arabian partner, ERAF Industries, part of Fahad International Company Limited. The vehicle is designed for local manufacture and to fulfil a Saudi Military requirement.
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Completing the line up on the Penman Creation stand was a prototype Light Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (LTATV) designed and developed by Jordan’s King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau (KADDB), with support from Creation’s automotive design consultancy. The vehicle, designed initially to fulfil a Jordanian special forces requirement, is to be offered also on the global market and significant interest has been expressed already by a number of agencies around the world.
Both the Penman Creation MRV-P variants on display fully embraced the UK MoD’s theme for DVD 2012 – namely to demonstrate the ambition for full situational awareness, communications system integration and interoperability between fixed and operational platforms, irrespective of the OE manufacturer source of the equipment. Accordingly, both the MRV-P units – and Metras platform are fitted with a range of situational awareness and other equipment from different manufacturers, all designed for full operational functionality.
The 4x4 MRV-P, which took part in recent demonstration trials, was driving on Millbrook’s Battlefield Mission off-road course during the show. The three-axle MRV-P variant on static display was shown in its 6x4 configuration – 6x6 driven/powered third axle versions will follow. The unit also carried a Clark extending telescopic mast and a fire suppression system.
Both two- and three-axle variants of the Creation MRV-P now feature a new, extreme-duty nitrogen-based suspension all round, which improves roll-stiffness and provides further potential for payload growth. The high pressure sealed nitrogen strut unit features an integral damper and internal bump stop offering an intrinsically safe – and retained mobility failure mode. The system, which carries no additional weight penalty, completely replaces the previous airbag-based system, which was considered to be potentially vulnerable to small arms fire and damage in hostile operating conditions.
The latest MRV-Ps also opens up the programme to its full scope and potential. The original platform design concept envisaged a fully functional rolling mine resistant underframe (MRU), onto which a wide variety of protected, softskin or even demountable top cabs, citadels or structures could be integrated. To date, development and production ready units have been configured around typical protected patrol vehicle requirements, whilst concurrent full design and pre-production studies have included a wide range of other applications.
Now, both two- and three-axle variants can be configured for operational roles, body types and specialist applications such as pick-up utility vehicle, light logistics cargo carrier, troop carrier, command and control, demountable shelter, weapons mounted installation kit (WMIK), reconnaissance and battlefield ambulance. Crew and seating layouts can be varied from two to twelve occupants and space is also allocated for weapons fit, communications suites, situational awareness (SA) systems and other electronic devices. Additional features include fully integrated health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS) and the capability to support exportable power requirements.
Throughout, the design has featured a composite ‘occupant survival cell’ with surrounding protection including a V-form belly plate and an integral blast mitigation system. Protection is specified for minimum STANAG 4569 level 2 mine protection and level 2-3 KE protection. Fragment protection is taken to level 4.
With world markets in mind, the mine resistant under-frame (MRU) is also designed to accommodate a range of powertrain options, dependent on end user preference and specification. In addition, the unit has been developed to incorporate a rapid access and removal ‘cassette’ mounting for the cooling pack, engine, automatic transmission and transfer box. This permits main powertrain components to be removed for major repair of maintenance in about an hour.
The vehicle also meets worldwide deployment criteria – A1-C1 operating – and A1-C2 for storage. The unit is also specified for climatic conditions A2-C1 (+56ºC to -32ºC) for storage – and down to C2 extreme at -56ºC for operations. The MRV-P is dimensioned for air transportability within C130 and above – or underslung below CH47. Depending on configuration and protection level, the three-axle variant is designed to meet and exceed improved medium mobility (IMM) criteria with a 4 tonne payload.
The Metras platform on display is configured to carry a crew of eight – commander, driver and six troops. Importantly, virtually all the major chassis and body components have been made in-house at Penman’s Dumfries plant, so that downstream production methodology is well developed prior to integration into ERAF Industries’ operation in Saudi Arabia.
The KADDB 4x4 Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (LTATV) has been designed and developed initially to meet a specific capability requirement of the Jordanian armed forces – although it will be marketed for the global defence market and a number of agencies worldwide have already expressed strong interest. The platform is designed to be customised for use as a tactical vehicle for agile forces requiring fast response and rapid deployment capability. It provides all-terrain transport for two to four special operations soldiers or infantry – and can be used also as a logistics vehicle. The LTATV can be deployed by land, sea or air and is portable within C130 and a range of rotorcraft.
The initial vehicle is powered by a liquid-cooled, diesel engine, delivering selectable 2- or 4-wheel-drive, via a constant velocity transmission (CVT) driveline. The unit has a 60 kph top speed, an approach/departure angle of around 60° and 60% gradeability.
The platform is designed around a rigid tubular steel chassis and includes a two passenger roll cage, tubular steel bumpers and lifting rings. Wheelbase is 2 metres with almost 300mm of ground clearance and a payload of 250 kilograms. Dry weight comes in at just 850 kilos and towing capability of 750 kilos. The unit carries enough fuel for a 250 kilometre range operating at low speed and maximum torque.
Group Managing Director, Bryan Findlay says, “This project is the first fruits of our now established partnership with KADDB and demonstrates Creation’s role as preferred partner and advisory engineering consultants to international OEM’s. We will continue to develop relationships where engineering consultancy and technology transfer offer real opportunity for international cooperation and OEM export market growth.
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Source : Penman Engineering Ltd