The Simba (4 × 4) family of light combat vehicles was designed as a private venture by GKN Defence (which today is BAE Systems Land Systems) specifically for the export market, to meet the requirement for a family of wheeled vehicles capable of local manufacture and capable of being fitted with a variety of armament installations to meet different operational requirements.
In mid-1992, GKN Defence announced that it had received confirmation of the award of a GBP56.273 million contract to supply the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with 150 Simba wheeled armoured vehicles, and associated spares and training. The cost increased to GBP63.385 million following requirements for 17 vehicles of the order to be configured to accommodate ambulance and command fits.
The Philippine's Simbas were customised to suit specific AFP requirements and have larger capacity diesel fuel tanks for increased operating range.
In 1989, a joint venture company was established in the Philippines called Asian Armoured Vehicle Technologies Corporation (AAVTC), with GKN Defence having a 20 per cent interest. The other 80 per cent was held by Multi-Parts Motors International Incorporated (MMIIC) and Philippines Veterans Investment and Development Corporation (PHIVIDEC).
Of the 150 Simba vehicles ordered by the AFP eight vehicles were delivered complete, two in 'part knocked down' form, two in kit form and the remaining 138 were assembled in a facility in Subic Bay operated by the Asian Armoured Vehicle Technologies Corporation. All vehicles have now been delivered to the AFP.
The basic Simba used by the AFP is fitted with a one-man turret armed with a .50 (12.7 mm) M2 HB machine gun and two banks of four electrically operated smoke grenade dischargers but a number of other variants were built including ambulance, command post and a more heavily armed version fitted with a Thales Land & Joint Systems FVT 925 one-man turret armed with a 25 mm Oerlikon Contraves automatic cannon.
Production of the Simba was completed some years ago and it is no longer marketed. Description
The hull of the Simba is of all-welded steel armour construction that provides the occupants with protection from 7.62 mm ball small arms fire and shell splinters. Thermal insulation on the roof and forced air circulation are fitted as standard. A heater and/or full air conditioning were available as optional extras, as are various communications systems.
The driver sits at the front of the vehicle on the left and has bulletproof windows to his front and either side and a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the rear.
The Perkins Engines Company diesel engine is to the right of the driver, with the air inlet louvres on the lower front glacis plate and the outlet on the upper side of the glacis plate to the right rear of the driver's position. The Perkins Engines Company diesel engine is coupled to a Clark combined gearbox/transfer box which transmits power to the front and rear axles.
The troop compartment is at the rear of the Simba. Armoured vision blocks are provided in each side of the troop compartment with firing ports positioned between the windows.
The troops enter and leave the Simba via a single large rear door or a door in the left-hand side. Both have a bulletproof vision block in their upper part with a firing port underneath.
A wide range of armament installations can be fitted to the Simba. When used as an APC, the vehicle normally transports up to 12 crew members including the commander and driver. When a one-man turret with single or twin 7.62 mm GPMG, or a .50 (12.7 mm) M2 HB machine gun, is fitted, a crew of 10 is normally carried. Variants
The basic APC version of Simba carries 10 to 12 men depending on the operational role, for example the driver front left, one man to his rear facing the rear, five men down the left side facing inwards, four men down the right side facing inwards and one man under the cupola facing the front.
With a turret armed with a 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine gun, this version has a crew of 10 including the commander, gunner and driver. Most of the Philippine's Simba vehicles are in this configuration.
This version has a removable roof plinth that can accept a wide range of 20 mm and 25 mm turrets. The Philippine's have a batch of vehicles fitted with the Thales Land & Joint Systems FVT 925 turret armed with an Oerlikon Contraves 25 mm cannon and 7.62 mm machine gun.
This version could be fitted with a wide range of equipment including side riot screens, a barricade remover, a public address system, a siren or wailer, a turret firing 38 mm CS and smoke rounds from under armour, a collective CS gas filtration system and a winch.