The Terrex 2 can adopt medium-caliber weapons, such as this stabilized 30-mm automatic cannon, without adversely affecting passenger capacity or payload. Managed towers can be installed if desired.
Singapore Technologies (ST) Kinetics, a division for ground systems of the state-owned enterprise ST Engineering, presented its program for developing a wheeled armored vehicle Terrex 2 in the 8x8 configuration.
The Terrex 2 project, which has been underway since the beginning of the 2013 of the year, draws on the company's experience in developing the Terrex ICV (infantry carrier vehicle) armored personnel carrier. This platform is in service with the Singapore Army and was proposed for the current program for the US Marine Corps on the Amphibious Combat Vehicle Phase 1 Increment 1 amphibious vehicle (ACV 1.1), which the Singapore company is working with from the USA Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) .
About the direction of the development of the original Terrex platform and the external market led to the creation of the Terrex 2.
Mr. O reported that one of the company's strengths, apart from machine design and production, is the ability as a system integrator to combine the latest technologies in one platform.
“We completed this project because we can really combine hardware and software to increase the ability of our soldiers to fight on an individual, group or even military level,” said Mr. O. “In the Terrex project we have a machine that already has a high level of protection, mobility and firepower ... we strive to offer something new, especially with the Terrex 2. ”
Unlike the Terrex 24 ton machine, the new machine enters the stage with a total mass of 30 tons. According to the specifications provided by the company, Terrex 2 has a length of about 8,5 meters, from 3 to 4 meters in standard and amphibious configuration, respectively, height to 3 meters and minimum ground clearance 400 mm.
The driver’s instrument panel is distinguished by a high level of digitization, which is also provided by two touchscreen LCD panels with an intuitive and easily customizable graphical user interface.
Duration of service life
The larger and heavier platform allowed ST Kinetics engineers to raise their payload to 9 tons, which can go for heavy weapons, increased protection and increased ammunition and equipment, which ultimately increases the duration of the combat mission. A remote-controlled combat module with a 2-mm machine gun, a 12,7-mm machine gun, an 7,62-mm automatic grenade launcher with air-assault munitions or an 40-mm automatic cannon can be mounted on the roof of the Terrex 30. Depending on the requirements of the customer, ATGM launchers and crew towers can be installed on the machine.
“For example, while the current version of Terrex is capable of providing a three-day operation, we must reduce passenger capacity if you need to install heavier tower armament,” Mr. O. said. “But when we created the Terrex 2, we increased its capabilities and provided enough space for accommodation of military equipment, which will help support the military throughout the combat mission ".
The crew of the car are two people, the driver and the commander. It can accommodate 12 fully equipped paratroopers on specially designed energy-absorbing seats that can be folded to access storage areas in the hull or to simplify maintenance.
According to the company ST Kinetics, the survivability of the crew has been further enhanced by the patented chassis design, which received the designation “VoV” (V-over-V - V over V). It consists of two v-sections - the lower v-section, which holds the powertrain and suspension, and the upper section, which is part of a protected capsule that accommodates the crew compartment and the troop compartment. The lower v-shaped section is designed to absorb the initial blast wave from a mine or an improvised explosive device (IED), while the second v-shaped case further reduces the likelihood of injuries to people sitting inside.
“For high-level threats such as mines and IEDs, we know that the v-shaped bottom is the key to machine survivability,” says Sabapathi, chief designer of the center of wheeled vehicles of ST Kinetics.
“The lower section of the VoV-type case works as a consumable component, taking the brunt of the initial blast wave from a mine or IED,” he explained. “There is also an isolation system between the first v-section and the second v-section, so the second v-shaped case, which is actually a protected capsule in which people are placed, further reduces the chance of injury.”
"In addition, the lower v-section is part of the chassis design (where the drives and suspension are installed), so there is a mass savings, while the rest of the car is carefully fitted to the second v-shaped section," he noted, noting that the overall shape The hull is also optimized for direction away from the blast wave machine. “Such constructive solutions lead to a platform that initially has higher levels of protection against mines and IEDs.”
Increased situational awareness
The Terrex 2 is equipped with the same driving aids and surveillance kits that have already been tested on a Terrex high digitization machine: Closed Hatch Driving System (CHDS) and All Round Surveillance System (ARSS) driving system with closed hatches. ). The ARSS system consists of 11 daylight and thermal imaging cameras of low light installed on the perimeter of the hull. The system in the current version of Terrex displays on the display of the commander a real-time video image, as well as on the display in the troop compartment, in order to assess the external situation before landing from the car. According to the company ST Kinetics, this system increases the level of situational awareness of the commander and, as a result, his ability to make decisions, whereas the landing force after leaving the car needs less time to orient in the environment.
The CHDS system consists of three flat-panel displays mounted on the driver's seat, to which the day and night images from the cameras are directly displayed, which allows the driver to maneuver while sitting inside the car. The system is supplemented with the function of determining the location in real time and the function of displaying the coordinate grid on the driver’s displays and indicating route points.
However, ST Kinetics has further refined these elements in the Terrex 2 version. For example, the driver's seat is even more digitized, an additional touchscreen monitor is installed on each side of the steering wheel, allowing instant access to the basic configuration of the vehicle and driving functions to add important information on its operational readiness and general system status. Replacing most of the physical scales and instruments of the Terrex machine of the first generation, the company claims to create using technical psychology methods an intuitive and customizable interface that greatly simplifies working with the machine and also reduces the course of training to a minimum.
The Terrex 2 is distinguished by a new hull and chassis design, which are optimized for amphibious operations, and also increase survivability from mines and IEDs
“The CHDS system aboard the Terrex 2 has been enhanced in a similar way,” added Sabapathi. “Earlier, the driver received only the main video image from the cameras, but we created an intelligent driver display, on the central screen of which information from the instrument panel, such as speed, current driving mode, and engine and transmission faults, is displayed.”
The company also introduced an optional hybrid camera for the ARSS system. Called the “fusion camera”, the new display tool combines day and night camera capabilities, superimposing a thermal image on a day color image. According to Sabapathi, this unique approach combines the advantages of both types of images in one display - the color and clarity of the day camera, combined with the ability to recognize the thermal signatures of other machines and potential threats.
“Since thermal images are usually monochrome, you lose the colors you want to see during the day,” he explained. - But at the same time with daytime cameras you, for example, cannot see through fog, smoke or sandstorm ... and when you are in the mode of combining images, you can see everything that happens behind these visual obstacles with the thermal imaging always on during the daytime . This brings operational safety and situational awareness to a new level. ”
The Terrex 2 was optimized for amphibious operations, and its design was clearly influenced by the company's participation in the US Marine Corps ACV 1.1 program. The following target requirements were announced for this program: the vehicle must carry paratroopers up to 13, as well as three crew members, through coastal waters with 0,6 wave heights and surf with wave heights up to 3 meters at a constant speed of floating up to 8 nodes.
“The shape of the machine body is hydrodynamic, so it creates a natural bearing surface, which increases the buoyancy,” said Sabapathi. “In addition, it reduces the depth of the machine when entering the water in extremely harsh conditions, and also increases its ability to return from difficult situations.”
Movement in the water is ensured by two propellers installed in the stern in the guide nozzles, which allows the Terrex 2 to develop speed on the water over 6 nodes.
The Terrex 2 is also equipped with several distinctive features that are used during amphibious operations. The first is the “blocking” mechanism, located at the top of the case, which automatically triggers when the air intake pipe and exhaust pipe are extended. The mechanism seals the air intake to prevent flooding of the engine compartment (MTO) and sends seawater to a specially designed cooling system that regulates the engine temperature.
To simplify the descent into the sea in adverse conditions and further reduce the likelihood of water entering the MTO, a raised air intake system is also installed. An additional camera is installed on the pipe itself in order to provide visibility during the water, when the water-reflective shield covers the driver’s viewing devices.
Recognizing that not all customers need this level of buoyancy, Mr. Oh said that the company also offers Terrex 2 with reduced amphibious capabilities in order to reduce the total cost. This option will be approximately one meter narrower.
It is clear that Terrex 2 will not replace the current car, which is produced for the Singapore Army. According to ST Kinetics, the development of a new platform expands its wheeled vehicle portfolio and allows for a wider range of requirements.
Terrex 2 is undergoing sea trials at the ST Kinetics test site. Compared to the current platform, the new machine has a number of improvements, including enhanced amphibious characteristics. Two stern propellers allow the Terrex 2 to reach water speeds above 6 nodes (10 km / h)
In addition to the network concepts of combat and the eight-wheel configuration, common to the two platforms, the Terrex 2 project is a new design with new technologies in addition to increased protection and useful payload.
However, all these improvements undoubtedly increase the cost and therefore it is not surprising that ST Kinetics will continue to offer the previous version of Terrex on the market in order to expand the potential client base with the inclusion of operators who do not need additional features.
Apparently, the company is confident in its prospects for the international market, which is undoubtedly reinforced, firstly, by its success with the protected articulated all-terrain vehicle Warthog (better armed and protected version of the Bronco armored personnel carrier), which worked well in the British contingent in Afghanistan, and secondly, its progress in the ACV 1.1 program (a floating machine for the United States International Law Commission).
In addition to applying for ACV 1.1, ST Kinetics teamed up with the Australian branch of Elbit Systems to participate in the LAND 400 Phase 2 program, which aims to replace the outdated Australian ASLAV (Australian Light Armored Vehicle) vehicles with new combat reconnaissance vehicles (up to 225 pieces) in 2020-2025 years.
Although due to contractual obligations in the company, they refuse to directly confirm participation in the Australian program, it is likely that the Elbit Systems-ST Kinetics application will be based on the Terrex 2 platform.
At the 2015 DSEI exhibition, the British army made it clear that in the near future it might be possible to resume its program on the 8x8 infantry fighting vehicle. Given the positive operational experience of the Warthog in the military, it will be surprising if ST Kinetics does not submit an application with its successful Terrex machine or with its new and improved model.