Penman advances towards world markets with show of strength, mettle and ambition

Penman Group returned to the now bi-annual Defence Vehicle Dynamics show at Millbrook this week to reveal and support a wide ranging portfolio of exhibits across the event which together demonstrated the full scope of its in-house and partner-based capability, product diversity and growing world market success.

Penman, based in Dumfries, Scotland, has fulfilled a very significant string of successful UK and international defence and security programmes including armoured patrol vehicles, protected engineer plant, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and specialist vehicles, mine clearing systems and cash-in-transit conversions.  The group acquired design house Creation in early 2011 and it also owns Aardvark, which makes the world’s most effective operationally proven landmine clearance machine.

Making its international debut on Penman Group’s own stand at DVD was Metras, the initial production variant of a new, Multi-Role Vehicle (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.  The vehicle shares some major component commonality with the current MRV, whilst modularity and flexibility in the design permit the platform to be configured for a wide variety of future potential applications.

Penman Creation Multi-Role Vehicle – Protected (MRV-P) variants were displayed on the off-road section of the show, alongside a KADDB Light Tactical All Terrain Vehicle (LT-ATV) prototype, a project in which Penman Creation has provided engineering consultancy and technology transfer support.

Also on the Penman stand was a standard Penman Protected™ Toyota Landcruiser, designed for diplomatic, mission, patrol and export market applications.  The vehicle is discreetly armoured to provide low aggression, passive protection for the occupants. This is achieved by the inclusion of an internal, armoured steel shell, fully welded into the sides, front, and rear of the passenger compartment.  All six doors are also lined in armour and all fit into armoured steel rebates with splash plates, eliminating potential ballistic gaps.

The windows are thick anti-ballistic laminates with integral polycarbonate spall liners. All are fixed into armoured steel rebates, again to eliminate potential ballistic gaps.  Floor protection comprises a combined armour steel floor and armoured steel belly pan under the chassis providing  protection to fuel and brake lines.  The roof armour is fitted discreetly inside the roof liner, joining and overlapping the side armour.  In addition to ballistic protection the armoured steel shell provides much improved protection against collision, ram and roll-over incidents. The integrity and strength of construction provides improved resistance to blast attack.

All transparent and opaque faces on the sides, front and rear of the passenger cabin are protected to withstand all ballistic threats up to and including Euro Norm level BSEN1063:BR6 - NS.  This level of protection also covers typical shotgun weapons and the AK47 (7.62 × 39 mm ball from point blank range). Optionally, floor protection may be added to protect the passenger cabin against the detonation of up to two L2A2 hand grenades, or equivalent anti-personnel weapons, on the ground.

Established EOD & IEDD platform capability

Showing the company’s established capability for vehicle platform-based total integrated solutions was a fully life-extended bomb disposal unit.  Widely referred to by the project name ‘Wedgewood’, the unit was displayed in a dual-role configuration.   

Penman Protected™ Plant

Penman has an established and mature capability for the application of crew protection systems (CPS), armour and protection for specialist engineer plant and construction equipment.  Three examples of Penman Protected™ plant were shown on at DVD by the Group’s strategic partner, Finning UK, Caterpillar’s main dealer.  All three types, a Protected Light-Wheeled Tractor (CAT 434E), a Protected Medium-Wheeled Tractor (CAT 938G) and a Protected Multi-Terrain Loader (CAT 257B) are in service with UK MoD, having been procured as an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) by the Service Provision Project Team, General Service Group DE&S, to meet the needs of current operations in Afghanistan.  The equipment allows combat engineering tasks and construction tasks to be conducted in high threat locations by providing protection at TES levels.

The Penman crew protection systems (CPS) are designed to provide the operator with full 360° protection, including the roof and floor, from small arms, blast and fragmentation threats.  An emergency escape hatch is provided through the roof or side hatch – accessible from both the inside by the operator and outside by rescue personnel.  The transparent armour offers excellent operator visibility of the machine and the surrounding work area.  Additional options including bar armour, run-flat wheel and tyre systems, communications, electronic countermeasures (ECM) and infra-red lighting are also available.

Penman designs and manufactures armoured crew protection systems (CPS) for a wide range of OEM products, including machines from Caterpillar, JCB, Case and Lannen.  Armour Protection is available from entry-level basic riot protection, through to significant STANAG threats for KE, Blast and Fragmentation.

Penman-EKA Lightweight Recovery Vehicle (LRV-P)

The jointly developed Penman-EKA Light Recovery Vehicle – Protected (LRV-P) was displayed by EKA on Stand OR-15/16.  EKA, the recognised leader in military recovery vehicle equipment, teamed with Penman to build the vehicle to fill a perceived gap in current provision and inventory, but, since its international debut at last year’s DSEi show in London, it has attracted strong interest in export markets around the world.

The Penman-EKA lightweight recovery vehicle is specifically designed to recover and suspend tow the new generation of protected lightweight vehicles which operate in forward areas of theatre and may require rescue from narrow and confined locations such as village streets – where heavier, full-width recovery vehicles cannot penetrate. 

The first LRV-P vehicle to be built is based on a compact, 2.16 metre width, re-roled General Dynamics European Land Systems DURO 3 6x6 logistics chassis armoured by Penman, although the concept package has been designed for application and integration with other suitable vehicle platforms.  The unit also incorporates key elements and componentry from the current EKA SuperCompact equipment in service with the UK MoD Support Vehicle (Recovery) fleet, thereby reducing and simplifying any retraining burden, time delay for rapid mobilisation and downstream ILS support. 

The EKA recovery equipment is integrated onto a specialist ‘skid’ built by Penman, which closely matches the operational requirements for both recovery and automotive performance.  In operation, the new unit is effectively similar to a downscaled version of the larger SuperCompact equipment, but it incorporates a number of innovative features which reduce weight and enhance capacity and mobility of the host chassis.  The design has been subjected to extensive finite element analysis (FEA) during the design process to optimise fabrication detail for reliability and durability.

The recovery boom assembly comprises a telescopic rectangular section, the inner box of which carries the recovery bar assembly.  The boom provides a maximum lift rating of 6 tonnes and a maximum casualty vehicle weight capability of 15 tonnes.  An 8 tonne constant-pull capstan winch is fitted and, in order to anchor the vehicle when winching to the rear, two 8 tonne rated anchor spades are provided to enable two-part pulls to be carried out.  Safe stand-off remote operation of the recovery system is controlled from a chest pack with a 10 metre umbilical, connected to a frame mounted control box on the vehicle.  The chest pack features progressive paddle joysticks (suitable for gloved operation) for boom in/out, boom up/down and recovery bar levelling.

Apart from the specialist ‘skid’ onto which the recovery system is integrated, Penman has upgraded and modified the vehicle platform to meet anticipated operational requirements.  An additional cab seat is provided within the fully armoured tilt cab – as are riot grilles and a cab escape facility.  Up-rated heavy duty springs, shock absorbers and off-road tyres have been added to further enhance the vehicle’s all-terrain performance.  Other features include full fitment for ECM and EECM, including power provision and cooling.

Source: Penman Engineering Ltd
Date: Jun 22, 2012