which stands for "Specialized Reconnaissance Assault and
Transport System" evolved from a proof of concept vehicle,
utilizing "Rock Crawler" and "Sand Rail"
technologies, which are popular with recreational and extreme
off-road automotive sports, to produce an off-road vehicle designed
to handle extreme terrain conditions. In 2004 DARPA funded the
development of two prototype vehicles under a proof of concept
demonstration of a small vehicle which would bridge the gap
between the soldier and the HMMWV. At AUSA 2007 BAE Systems
and the SRATS developer specialty vehicle maker unveiled their
cooperation in transforming the militarized rock crawler into
serially produced military vehicle, responding to the US Army's
interest in fielding thousand of vehicles to support its light
brigades and special forces. (more...)
Read about ELSROV
tests in Afghanistan
As an automotive platform designed for mobility
in extreme conditions, SRATS combine commercial 'rock crawlers'
and sand rail technologies, enabling near vertical rock climbing
or rubble field traverse (maximum grade climb of 80%). The vehicle
also has high acceleration and speed, sustaining high speed
chase or fast egress from a hot target area.
The vehicles went through field testing and demonstrations
beginning November 2004. The demonstrations simulated reduction
of soldier load (backpack) by 80 per cent or more and infantry
logistical support going anywhere a soldier can walk or climb.
The vehicles demonstrated their capability of handling extreme
terrain, traveling over rubble and going through road-less terrain.
They were tasked with simulated high-speed convoy escorts, casualty
evacuation and insurgent off-road pursuit.
has a curb weight of 4,700 pounds, fitted with an uprated HMMWV
turbo-charged diesel engine, rated at 340 hp running on JP8
fuel. Two vehicles can be carried by a single CH-47 lift. The
vehicle accommodates four passengers, with additional six seated
on outboard rigs. It can be equipped with an armor package weighing
2,000 pounds, providing efficient protection against 7.62 rifle
bullets. The vehicle can be configured with independent front
and rear steering, for maximum agility and maneuverability.
The first SRATS were completed last year (2006) as 'proof of
principle' vehicles for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency (DARPA), creating much interest among special forces.
The military was ready to order over 100 of them, but then interest
expanded beyond the special forces, and the Army's Rapid Equipping
Force (REF) is now interested in producing thousands of these
vehicles. This potential motivated the SRATS developer to approach
BAE Systems to team for the development and production of a
new armored version.
The armored SRATS is designed to bridge the gap between the
current HMMWV and the dismounted soldier, providing support
and logistics for small infantry elements, negotiate on and
off-road convoy escort and mobility, carry out stealth recce
missions, extract high value assets from difficult locations
and conduct fast pursuit off and on-road. SRATS has a length
of 175" (4.445 m') and wheel base of 132" (3.352 m'),
the vehicle curb weight is about 6,500 lbs (2.948 t.) for the
unarmored version and 8,500 lbs (3.856 t.) for the armored vehicle,
fitted with small-arms protection (7.62mm) and runflat tires.
In both configurations, SRATS can carry a payload of 4,000 lbs
(1.814 t.) including four passengers. The vehicle is powered
by AM General 6.5 V8 turbo diesel engine rated at 300 hp and
505 lb/ft torque. It uses standard fuel tanks to sustain operation
at a range of 375 miles (60- km) or accommodate larger fuel
tanks for extended range.