|Manufacturer:||Ratmil Regie Automoma|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Wheeled armoured personnel carrier|
The Romanian company of ROMARM have developed and tested a new 8 × 8 armoured personnel carrier (APC) called Zimbru 2000 (European Bison).
According to ROMARM, development of this vehicle is complete and production can commence as soon as orders are placed.
Zimbru 2000 is a further development of the ROMARM B33 (8 × 8) APC that has been in service with the Romanian Army for some years. The B33 is essentially the Russian BTR-80 modified to meet the requirements of the Romanian Army.
More recently ROMARM has revealed that it is developing a new 8 × 8 vehicle called the Zimbru 2006 which is a brand new design rather than being based on a modified Russian design. As of October 2007 it is understood that the Zimbru 2000 (8 × 8) APC remained at the prototype stage.
The Zimbru 2000 is almost identical to that of the Romanian B33 which is covered in detail in a separate entry. The hull is of all-welded steel armour with the highest level of protection being over the frontal arc which provides protection against 12.7 mm attack at a range of 100 m.
The main difference is that the roof line to the rear of the commander's and driver's position at the front of the vehicle has been raised to provide greater internal volume.
Roof hatches, side door/hatch between the second and third road wheels and the firing ports/associated vision devices are retained. In addition there is also an aisle for access at the right rear of the hull.
From an automotive aspect, the most significant improvement of the Zimbru 2000 is the installation of a new diesel power pack that consists of a Deutz BF 6M 1013 turbocharged diesel engine developing 195 kW at 2,300 rpm which meets EURO II emission requirements.
This is coupled to an Allison MD 3060 PR fully automatic transmission rather than a manual transmission as fitted to the earlier vehicles. The installation of an automatic transmission reduces driver fatigue as well as reducing driver training and reducing damage to the power pack by changing gears at the wrong time.
Like the earlier B33, the new Zimbru 2000 is fully amphibious being propelled in the water at a maximum speed of 10 km/h by a single water jet mounted at the rear of the hull. Before entering the water a trim vane is erected at the front of the hull and the bilge pumps are activated.
Standard equipment includes powered steering on the front four road wheels, fire detection and suppression system in the engine and crew compartments, central tyre pressure regulation system that allows the driver to adjust the tyre pressure of the vehicle without leaving their seat, NBC system and a front-mounted winch with 50 m of cable. It can also be fitted with a global positioning system and a laser warning device.
The earlier B33 APC was fitted with a locally designed and built one-person manually operated turret armed with a 14.5 mm and 7.62 mm machine gun but the new Zimbru 2000 is being marketed with a much wider range of weapon systems.
These include a RAFAEL Armament Development Authority overhead weapon station armed with a 25 mm cannon and 81 mm smoke grenade launchers and a German Rheinmetall Landsysteme turret armed with a Mauser 30 mm MK 30 cannon.