IMI Introduces a new design for the Wildcat Armored Vehicle

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Introduced by IMI as a proof of concept vehicle, the development of the Wildcat continues with the promise to introduce the worlds first RPG protected wheeled vehicle. In 2006 the vehicle’s configuration changed to reflect the evolving requirements for a versatile urban warfare combat vehicle. IMI based its platform on the Czech built Tatra 4×4 platforms, providing excellent cross-country and road mobility. In late 2007 the Wildcat ‘Alpha’ prototype went through a series of mobility tests held in Israel, demonstrating excellent cross-country mobility, as well as unpaved road mobility. Wildcat was designed to meet current USMC specifications for a medium weight personnel carrier (MPC). In early 2008 the Wildcat went through a US Marine Corps evaluation in the USA. The vehicle is scheduled to make its public debut at theEurosatory 2008 exhibition in Paris, June 2008.

The WildCat is powered by water cooled, turbocharged 321 HP EPA 2004 compliant diesel engine (Cummins ISLe+325) coupled with an automatic 6 speed transmission (Allison model 3066P). The chassis uses TATRA’s unique backbone tube and swing axle Independent suspension offering excellent cross country mobility and improved crew comfort, provided by the independent suspension and high ground clearance of 367mm (adjustable). At a maximum gross weight of 15 tons, the WildCat will be able to travel up to 700km on road, and retain full cross country and obstacle handling capabilities.

The WildCat will be designed as a family of armored vehicles, introducing several variants, all using a single chassis, an integrated welded monocoque hull accommodating 12 fully equipped crew members, offering counter-mine, small-arms and IED protection (STANAG 4569 Level 2a and 3b). The levels of protection will be provided. The vehicle is designed with multiple accesses in the sides, top and rear (full width ramp) enabling flexible mount/dismount for troops and equipment, eliminating the need to expose troops to enemy fire. The Wildcat is equipped with run-flat tires, central tire inflation system CTIS), NBC protection and automatic fire extinguishing systems.

The basic protection level, common to all Wildcat configurations will meet STANAG 4569 Level 3 (small arms bullet-proof armor). The vehicle is designed for C-130 and A-400M air transportability. An up-armored version, equipped with hybrid armor suite will meet STANAG 4569 Level 4 using passive lightweight armor based on IMI’s ‘Iron Wall’ counter IED design. Battle damaged modules are designed to be field replaceable by the forward support elements, and unlike larger and heavier armor plates, do not require the use of heavy lifting equipment. This armor can be augmented with a hybrid armor suite, using IMI’s explosive reactive armor (ERA) specially designed for thin armored vehicles, to protect against shaped charge attacks including RPG. (Such Kit B armor protection is depicted in the artist concept drawing below)

Some of the variants will include an infantry carrier carrying 11 passengers – 3 crewmen and 8 troops seated in protected seating compartments; a police/border patrol vehicle will be designed for low intensity warfare and general security tasks. A scout and combat support vehicle is also planned, utilizing a reduced fighting compartment and open deck for equipment and mounting of external equipment. Reconnaissance and command and control versions will be optimized for carrying and operating of electronics equipment, while combat service support vehicles, including ambulance, recovery and logistics will be modeled with installations and interior design for each of these specific roles.

The photos on this page depict the Wildcat equipped with the Kit A armor, providing bullet proof, counter mine and counter IED protection, based on IMI’s ‘Iron Wall’ counter IED protection modules. The Wildcat is provided with three access ports two ramps – on the side and rear and a cabin door on the right. The crew compartment and front cabin also connected, offer comfortable movement fore and aft. Other access ports include multiple armored hatches on the deck. The vehicle also has side and elevated windows, to provide the vehicle’s crew with unobstructed view and improved situational awareness in open area as well as in dense urban environment. This vehicle is designed for medium protection level (STANAG 4586 level 4). It is also fitted with eight firing ports (three to each side and two at the rear). When fully configured, the Wildcat will also mount a remotely controlled weapon station.