|Manufacturer:||Engenheiros Especializados S.A. ENGESA|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Fire support vehicle|
The EE-18 Sucuri (6 × 6) tank destroyer has been developed as a private venture by ENGESA with the first prototype being completed late in 1987.
Its main role is to engage enemy tanks using hit-and-run tactics but ENGESA also suggests that its speed and mobility allow it to cover the flanks of fast-moving columns and act as a highly mobile reserve to rapidly counterattack any sudden breakthrough.
The earlier EE-17 (6 × 6) Sucuri tank destroyer, which consisted of an ENGESA chassis fitted with a French Fives-Cail-Babcock FL-12 oscillating turret armed with 105 mm gun, never entered production.
As of May 1992, no firm orders had been placed for the ENGESA EE-18 Sucuri and no overseas demonstrations had taken place.
The hull of the EE-18 is of dual-hardness armour which consists of an outer layer of hard steel and an inner layer of softer steel roll-bonded and heat-treated to give maximum ballistic protection from small arms fire and shell splinters.
The driver is seated at the front left with the engine compartment on the right so leaving the whole of the rear clear for the turret which is of a similar construction to the hull. He is provided with a single piece hatch cover, three day periscopes, one of which can be replaced by a passive periscope for driving at night and an adjustable steering wheel.
The air intake is on the glacis plate with the exhaust and air outlet on the right side of the hull.
Steering is power-assisted on the front wheels and a central tyre pressure regulation system is fitted as standard to allow the driver to adjust the tyre pressure to suit the type of ground being crossed.
The suspension is of the independent hydropneumatic type with a total wheel travel of 308 mm. The axles are provided with planetary reduction and a locking system in the differentials.
The vehicle commander sits on the right with the gunner forward and below his position with the loader on the left. The commander has a single piece hatch cover and periscopes for all-round observation while the loader has a single piece hatch cover that opens to the rear and a rotating observation periscope.
The prototype is armed with an OTO Melara 105 mm soft recoil gun which is fitted with a thermal sleeve and a muzzle brake, although other types of 105 mm weapon can also be installed. The 105 mm gun can fire all standard types of ammunition including APFSDS-T, HEAT, APDS-T, HESH, smoke and training. A total of 30 rounds of 105 mm ammunition is carried, of which eight are in the turret and remaining 22 in the hull. A total of 3200 rounds of 7.62 mm machine gun
ammunition is carried of which 400 are in the turret and remainder in the hull.
The fire control system of the vehicle enables the EE-18 to engage both stationary or moving targets when it is stationary or moving.
If required, the commander can override the gunner and both commander and gunner can traverse the turret at 26º/s and elevate the main armament at 35º/s (max). The fire control system includes a digital ballistic computer, moving-target tracking system, computer driven ballistic aiming mark, cant angle correction with automatic input, crosswind correction with manual range input as first emergency mode and a ballistic graticule as the second emergency mode.
Both the commander and gunner are provided with a roof-mounted sight with ×8 day and ×8 night magnification and a built-in laser rangefinder. In addition the gunner has an emergency combat sight with a magnification of ×8.
The 105 mm gun is stabilised in both planes with turret traverse and weapon elevation electric with manual control for emergency use.
The 24 V electric system uses one set of batteries for vehicle operations and the second set for starting thus avoiding lack of power after long still radio operations.
Optional equipment includes passive night driving periscope for the driver, laser detector and various communications systems.
ENGESA has suggested that the chassis of the EE-18 can be fitted with a wide range of other turrets and weapon systems.