|Manufacturer:||Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd - STK|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Tracked armoured personnel carrier|
In 2004 Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK) showed their recently developed Active Articulation Vehicle (AAV) demonstrator based on its proven Bronco All Terrain Tracked Carrier (ATTC). The latter is currently in service with the Singapore Armed Forces and is covered in detail in a separate entry.
Development of the AAV concept started in early 2003 and the demonstrator ran for the first time late in the same year. It is currently being funded as a private venture by STK, although additional funding would be required to take the concept to the final development stage. As of mid-2006, there were no known plans for the AAV to enter the final development and production phase.
The current production Bronco ATTC consists of two units joined together by an articulated coupling, which gives the vehicle a high level of cross-country mobility. The coupling not only transmits power but also allows pitch/yaw/roll between the two units.
The current Bronco ATTC has a maximum payload of 4,800 kg to 5,300 kg and is fully amphibious, propelled in the water by its tracks at a maximum speed of 5 km/h.
The latest AAV concept allows the Bronco ATTC to couple/decouple automatically to form two separate, smaller driven units. According to STK, this transforms the way articulated carriers will be able to operate on the future battlefield.
This new AAV concept allows this or any articulated vehicle (including wheeled) to be split into two separate loads for rapid-insertion missions using a wider range of tactical helicopters or vertical take-off landing (VTOL) aircraft.
The main advantage of the AAV concept is the quick change of role it offers to any articulated vehicle, as it allows an array of front and rear cabin combinations to increase the vehicle's ability to respond to an extended spectrum of missions.
The ability to swap capabilities during operations with a 'plug-and-play' convenience transforms conventional logistics and troop carriers to high payload, multirole and multiplatform systems.
Articulated vehicles can now be deployed for missions that range from logistics to weapons, sensors and bridging platforms in a more effective manner.
Components used in the AAV are fully scaleable, depending on the choice of platform and parameters indicated by the user. Although the initial application is military, the same principles could be applied to a number of civilian projects.
In addition, the AAV has a semi-autonomous rear cabin. When uncoupled, the unmanned cabin can be steered by remote control for dangerous missions such as mine clearance. The rear unit can be customised for a variety of independent or complimentary roles.
When operated under its own electric power, the rear cab unit can move silently and stealthily to a distance of about 5 km. In the autonomous mode it can be used for route paving and reconnaissance missions, which are considered too dangerous for the normal manned role.
The heart of the new concept is the HMET (Hydro Mechanical Electric Transmission) trans-axle, which is fitted to both units and provides steering, drive and braking for individual units when decoupled.
The rear semi-autonomous cabin is fitted with a Motor Generator (MOGEN), which is a hybrid-electric motor unit able to store and provide back-up power. As previously mentioned, this enables the rear cab to be used on its own.
Furthermore, if the front unit is damaged, the rear unit has the ability to return home under its own power. The MOGEN is also able to provide a power-boost option to achieve acceleration and speed above the vehicle's normal capacity.
As the rear unit has its own power source the overall performance of the vehicle is enhanced, with improved trench and vertical obstacle crossing as well as enhanced roll and pitch stability. It also offers a push/pull capacity in soft terrain.
When used on its own, the front unit can be fitted with a number of specialised attachments that include: a propeller for improved amphibious characteristics; dozer with adjustable blade; and even a flail-type mine-clearance system.