As follows from previous reports of Belarusian enterprises, government agencies and the media, by the end of last year a prototype mobile armored vehicle (MBTS) "Cayman" was used during various factory tests, and also participated in some demonstration events. Checks by the testers of the manufacturer allowed to establish the real characteristics, as well as correct the existing shortcomings of the project. After that, a promising car could be submitted for state tests.
In early February of this year, several publications of the Republic of Belarus quoted a representative of the enterprise that developed the Cayman Office. The head of the marketing department of 140 Repair Plant OJSC (Borisov), Vitaly Zabello, said that the state tests of the armored car would have to take place as soon as possible in February-March 2017 of the year. It was asserted that following the results of state tests, questions of serial production and ordering equipment for the army will be solved.
A few weeks later, representatives of the Belarusian press were admitted to the landfill, which became a platform for inspections of the Caiman. According to the results of this, several publications at once published news about current works, and a number of TV channels showed how an experienced armored car copes with the tracks and obstacles of the test site.
According to the Belarusian press, the Brest training ground became a platform for state tests of a mobile armored vehicle. Tests are held in the most difficult conditions. The equipment overcomes various routes and obstacles, crosses water barriers and otherwise shows high mobility. Performance characteristics are checked using daily runs, etc. At the time of the news in the media experienced "Cayman" continued to test. It was also noted that the future fate of the development will be determined soon. Exact dates for the appearance of an order for serial armored cars, etc. plans have not yet been clarified.
The latest news suggests that in the next few months or even weeks, the prototype MBTS Cayman will complete the tests, after which the armored car can be recommended for use. Then there should be a contract for the mass production of equipment. The organization that developed the project, Borisov 140 Repair Plant, will obviously be producing armored cars.
Recall, the development of the project MBTS "Cayman" was launched in 2014 year. The work began in accordance with the instructions of the President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko. During the visit to the 140-th repair plant, the head of state set the task of creating a promising armored car capable of solving various transport and combat tasks. A promising combat vehicle was planned to be put into service with its own army, as well as to offer foreign military forces to order.
The draft mobile armored vehicle was developed in the shortest possible time. In just four months, the company's specialists, led by chief designer Olga Petrova, studied the existing requirements and opportunities, formed the overall look of the future machine and developed a complete project. Soon the construction of a prototype for testing and verification of the project started. In the middle of 2015, the Belarusian newspaper “For the Glory of the Motherland” first told about the new armored car, and also published images of this car.
At least from the middle of 2015, a prototype of the Caiman armored car underwent factory tests, during which it confirmed the design characteristics and got rid of the identified deficiencies. At the end of March last year, the Belarusian industry published a video showing individual moments of ground tests of an armored car. In the video, the car successfully moved along various routes, overcame obstacles and crossed water obstacles by swimming.
Earlier it was reported that when developing a new project, it was decided to use some of the existing components and assemblies borrowed from serial equipment. Thus, the Caiman’s armored hull was to be based on elements of the BRDM-2 reconnaissance and patrol vehicle, and some parts of the chassis were borrowed from the BTR-60 armored personnel carrier.
Interestingly, in early March, 2017, the authors of the project refuted the well-known data on the use of the BRDM-2 units. Chief Designer O. Petrova called the version of using the existing building erroneous. The appearance of such a version, she associated with the similarity of the bow of the BRDM-2 and "Cayman." At the same time, in the course of developing a new project, existing ideas and solutions were actually used. MBTS "Caiman" had to overcome water barriers, and therefore, not wanting to waste time, the designers of the 140 repair plant decided to use the already proven form of the frontal part of the hull. At the same time, the two cars have a lot of differences, including the level of protection.
As part of the Caiman project, a new armor corps was developed, having some similarities to the BRDM-2 corps. At the same time, some new ideas and solutions related to the need to enhance certain characteristics were used. As follows from the published data, the new look of the corps made it possible to solve the main tasks, as well as to improve performance in comparison with the existing reconnaissance and patrol vehicle.
MBTS Caiman received a frontal part formed by several armor plates of various shapes. Above the front lower unit of the forehead there are three inclined sheets with openings for the glazing. According to the authors of the project, the frontal projection of the armored car is able to protect the crew from armor-piercing rifle bullets of caliber 7,62 mm. It is noteworthy that in this respect the Belarusian armored car has noticeable advantages over a similar Soviet-made vehicle.
The hull sides consist of three parts, a vertical central and an inclined top and bottom. The lower hull elements in combination with the armor bottom provide some protection against explosive devices. It is proposed to install various additional parts, housings, etc. on top of the main sheets of the boards. In particular, the armored hull received large wings over the wheels, made in the form of polygonal devices. The stern sheet of the hull is located vertically and is equipped with lighting equipment, a mount for a spare wheel, etc. The roof of the case consists of a horizontal front and a sloping rear.
From the point of view of the layout of the case, the Belarusian “Cayman” is similar to the Soviet BRDM-2. The front and center of the hull are given under the manned compartment, which accommodates the crew and landing places. Stern accommodates the engine compartment. The latter was placed diesel engine D-245.30-2 of the Minsk Motor Plant. Engine power 170 HP equipped with electronic fuel supply system and is connected to a five-speed manual gearbox. Transmission provides the issuance of torque on both axles.
Bridges, wheel gearboxes and torsion bar suspension for the Caiman were created on the basis of the relevant parts of the outdated BTR-60 armored personnel carrier. Through the use of such units it was possible to obtain a sufficiently high mobility on rough terrain. Also, an armored car received funds for movement on water. In the stern of the hull, behind the wheels, two jet propulsion units are installed.
MBTS Cayman can carry up to six people, including the driver. Own crew of an armored car from one or two people are located in front of the habitable compartment. At their workplaces there are all the necessary controls. In addition, to improve visibility, the driver can use the camcorder mounted on the body of the camera, giving a signal to the dashboard monitor. The driver and the commander must fall into place with the help of hatches in the roof.
Four paratroopers should be in the compartment, which occupies most of the habitable compartment. The paratroopers are invited to use the side hull doors and the upper hatch. In the roof of the troop compartment there is a hatch suitable for installing one or another weapon. Depending on the needs of the customer, an armored car can carry machine guns or other weapons. Perhaps the Cayman is capable of carrying even remotely controlled combat modules. In the course of the current tests, an armored car carries a set of armor plates and a rifle-caliber machine gun on the hatch.
The Caiman MBTS has a combat mass of no more than 7 tons. Thanks to its relatively powerful engine, the vehicle is able to reach speeds up to 110 km / h on the highway. Water cannons accelerate armored cars to 8 km / h. The power reserve is declared at the level of 1000 km. With the available characteristics, an armored car can solve various tasks related to transporting people, patrolling, escorting columns, etc. In addition, it is possible to use such equipment as a combat vehicle of intelligence officers working in the enemy’s rear units.
The first prototype of the Caiman was introduced in the middle of 2015, and soon went to the test. During inspections at the site, the initial project was obviously refined due to the need to improve technical and operational characteristics. As the available photographic materials show, it was decided to abandon the front brackets for the installation of lighting equipment. Now headlights and other similar devices are placed on the front and side hull sheets, and also covered with grilles. Perhaps, some modifications were applied to the power plant, transmission, chassis, etc.
According to the latest reports, the experimental equipment is now involved in state trials. It should be noted that the mobile armored vehicle has not yet been officially presented. The presentation of this car should take place in May, during the Minsk international exhibition MILEX 2017. During this show, the first official show of the armored car to specialists and the general public will take place.
Also, the company-developer is already considering the possibility of presenting several Caiman armored vehicles at parades. 3 July in Minsk to be held a parade on Independence Day. In the parade, armored vehicles can pass a new type. According to the Belarusian press, the mechanized column may include five armored cars. Machines will be equipped with different weapons and equipment. Thus, two “Caimans” will receive machine guns of rifle and large caliber, one will carry an automatic grenade launcher, a fourth machine will be equipped with a combat module “Adunok”. Another armored vehicle will be presented as a communication vehicle.
Apparently, the issue of the participation of the IBTS "Cayman" in the future parade is still only being considered. At the moment, the main task of the 140 repair plant and the military department is the completion of state tests. Only after the end of the current inspections a prospective model of armored vehicles will be able to count on being put into serial production and entering the troops. According to various sources, state tests should end as soon as possible.
In the next few months - in case of receipt of the relevant recommendations - the armored car "Caiman" can be adopted. Any plans of the Belarusian Ministry of Defense concerning the procurement of such equipment have not yet been announced. The military show interest in the latest domestic development, but it has not yet been drawn up in the form of real contracts. As a result, the exact dates of commencement of service and the number of armored vehicles required remain unknown.
To date, specialists 140-th repair plant managed to successfully solve a number of important tasks in the framework of the new project. Prospective mobile armored vehicle coped with factory testing and entered the public. After the completion of the last organization, the developer will have to face new challenges in the form of mass construction of new model cars. New important events in stories armored "Caiman" should occur in the very near future, so we will continue to follow the news.
On the materials of the sites: