BAE Systems (UK)
Viking BVS10 is a terrain vehicle that has amphibious features. It consists of 2 tracked vehicle units that are linked by a special steering mechanism. The UK army has ordered 108 such vehicles in order to use them on the present battlefields. The units that belong to the Viking BVS10 are articulated horizontally and vertically in order for the crew to maneuver this vehicle on rough terrains and harsh combat environments. This type of articulation provides the vehicle with increased agility and steering in order to cope with difficult conditions. The 4 tracks will be driven in a constant manner in order to provide the vehicle with maximum traction effort. These rubber tracks are provided by the Soucy International of Quebec in Canada. Viking BVS10 has an armored and steel construction; its rounded edges and its smooth contours can provide its crew with increased security and agility during the battles. The Viking's smooth profile helps it to aviod radar detection.
Viking BVS10 Development
Viking BVS10 development was mainly based on enhancing proven performance and capability. Its high operational capability is mainly due to its powerful engine. This engine is faster and larger than the one that was provided to its predecessors. The Viking BVS10 was designed to operate in a wide range of temperatures from -46°C to +46°C. This is one of the main reasons why this vehicle has been chosen by many military customers. It can provide the crew with an increased multi-operability and its capability in desert, jungle and Arctic conditions has already been proven. The rapid deployment of the Viking BVS10 is mainly based on its armored hull. This hull can provide an increased protection and the first prototypes of the Viking BVS10 were delivered in 2001. These vehicles have completed a very successful trial period of 18 months. Oman, Norway, Sweden and UK were the main locations where these vehicles were deployed.
Norway has witnessed a successful winter deployment of the Viking BVS10 in the Arctic. The vehicle was also transported to Oman in 2001 to take part in military exercises in Saif Sereea 2. Full operational testing has taken place and the Viking BVS10 was able to cope with extremely dry and hot desert conditions. The Netherlands Defense has placed an important contract in order to provide itself with some of these extremely effective vehicles. Viking BVS10 can be procured in 4 variants according to the requirements of each country. For instance, this vehicle can play the role of the troop carrier, ambulance, recovery and repair and command.
The armament of the Viking BVS10 normally consists of a 12.7mm Browning heavy machine gun but a 7.62 general purpose machine gun can be installed. The vehicle commander or the driver can perform several operations in order to use the armament. For instance, he can choose to operate the installed smoke dischargers that can be found on the front side of the Viking BVS10 in order to fire white phosphorous grenades or pure smoke.
Viking BVS10 Armor
The armored hull provides the crew with increased protection against 7.62mm armor-piercing rounds. The crew may also be safe from 152mm artillery shell fragments coming from a range of 10m. Viking BVS10 was tested and shown to protect the crew against the 0.5kg charge anti-personnel mines. The vehicle features a self-defense system, which can be deployed as soon as the Viking BVS10 is ambushed or attacked. The roof of the Viking BVS10 can be fitted with a ring mount to accommodate the 7.62 general purpose machine gun and the 12.7mm Browning heavy machine gun.
The front cabin can accommodate the driver and the crew plus three and fully equipped marines. Alternatively, a rear cabin of the Viking BVS10 can carry the mortar section, the heavy machine gun section or even the fully equipped anti-tank detachment carrying the Milan anti-armor missiles and some impressive firing posts. Both cabins are fully air-conditioned. The vehicle is also fitted with the well-known general dynamics UK Bowman communications system.
Viking BVS10 is equipped with the 5.9l in-line six-cylinder turbo diesel engine. This engine was designed by Cummins and it can produce 250bhp. This is actually more than twice the power of the older versions of the vehicle. The maximum torque of the Viking BVS10 is 840Nm at 1,600rpm. Hagglunds has also produced some new designs of various drive sprockets, powerful tracks, effective road wheels, resistant chassis and agile suspension systems for the Viking BVS10. This highly efficient vehicle can ford right through water up to a maximum depth of almost 1.5m without much preparation.
The steering of the Viking BVS10 is provided by hydraulic rams. These rams articulate in the rear and front cabs in direct response to the crew's inputs. Therefore, the steering of the Viking BVS10 does not require just one track in order to be braked. This is one of the main advantages of this vehicle when compared to other military devices. Viking BVS10 is capable of traversing sand, snow and soft terrains. Its terrain mobility is quite impressive because, in spite of its full weight, the Viking BVS10 manages to maintain its initial mobility regardless of the nature of the battlefield or environment.
The ground pressure is minimized because the load distribution is roughly even. The tracks of the Viking BVS10 are 620mm wide. They are made from rubber with cord thus providing the vehicle with a good mobility when dealing with difficult combat environments. The vehicle is likely to maintain its mobility even if one of its tracks is damaged. The ground clearance of the Viking BVS10 is an increased one especially when compared with its predecessors or other contemporary military vehicles. The cross-country abilities are greatly increased thanks to this clearance and because the turning circle of this vehicle reaches 14m in the diameter.
This vehicle was built according to an amphibious design. Its amphibious features make it able to travel through deeper waters without much preparation. The fittings and holes must be closed in order for the entire vehicle to be secured. A front vane should be fitted in order to prevent the possible washing wave that can affect the front windows. Viking BVS10 may reach 5km/h when in deeper water.
Viking BVS10 can also be split into 2 sections and the entire operation will take less than 20 seconds. The vehicle can be carried away by helicopter without damaging its main structure. The vehicle's speed on flat terrains is impressive and compares favorably with that of other modern fighting vehicles that belong to the infantry forces. The initial requirements when it came to the speed of this vehicle have been exceeded during all the trial periods because the Viking BVS10 can reach a speed of 80km/h when on the road. Even the range on the metal roads is likely to reach 300km.
There are plenty of troops that can be found on front-line duty in Afghanistan who trust their own lives to this highly effective Viking BVS10. This vehicle can be used in order to guarantee the success of the active operations. The upgraded versions of the Viking BVS10 have proven to be indispensable and they have become a familiar sight for the current troops fighting on different battlefields. The upgraded versions of the Viking BVS10 can provide much protected mobility in order to move the troops and withstand a wide range of dangerous threats. No other vehicle is likely to be faster for troop movement than the upgraded versions of the Viking BVS10.
Upgrades / Variants
The present design of the Viking BVS10 may allow extra upgrades. For instance, modular subsystems can be installed in order to suit specific operational requirements. The vehicle can be provided with extra armor, a wide range of weapons and various load chargers. Even the standard cargo platforms can be added to the Viking BVS10.