Developed by ‘Team Z’, an industry team led by armored vehicle designer Creation UK Ltd and British defense systems manufacturer Babcock Land Systems, Zephyr SRV (Specific Requirements Vehicle) introduces a modular, protected vehicle platform offering good survivability and multi-role operational flexibility, with efficient mechanical and logistics designed for extended field operations.
The team is offering the Zephyr for the British LPPV as well as a candidate for the Australian Land 121 ‘Overlander’ program and the upcoming Canadian Tactical Armored Patrol Vehicle (TAPV) requirements. A variant of the new design is also prepared for the British Operational Utility Vehicle System (OUVS) competition, for which Babcock was down-selected last year (the program has since been delayed recently.) The basic platform can be configured for a wide range of operational roles, body types and specialist applications such as pick-up utility vehicle, troop carrier, command and control, Weapons Mounted Installation Kit (WMIK), reconnaissance and battlefield ambulance. The basic configuration is the 4×4 vehicle but for future versions, a 6×6 variant is also planned. Creation and Babcock are preparing to produce the vehicles at a high pace, fulfilling the expected order for 400 vehicles within twelve months.
The centerpiece of the Zephyr design is the ‘occupant survival cell’, a protected compartment, configured with a V-shaped belly, floating floor for blast mitigation, blast-absorbing suspended seats and composite armored protection shell. Protection is specified for minimum STANAG 4569 level 2 mine protection and level 2-3 KE protection. Fragment protection is taken to level 4.
Zephyr SRV is also able to carry a range of roof-mounted options, including protected or remote weapons stations (RWS). Crew and seating layouts can be varied from two to eight occupants, to suit operational requirements. Space is also allocated for weapons fit, communications suites, situational awareness (SA) systems and other electronic devices – inline with LPPV and other comparable requirements.
The vehicle is configured for air transportability within C130, or underslung below CH47 helicopters. Mobility is designed to meet and exceed that of the Improved Medium Mobility Load Carrier (IMMLC), the latest British army medium truck. Zephyr can operate at a gross vehicle weight of 7500kg – carrying an effective payload c of 2500kg, assuming standard designed protection levels.
The design team considered a range of powertrain options for the vehicle, accommodating specific user preferences. The engine and transmission is accessible from the side, with the entire power train mounted on a ‘cassette’ facilitating rapid removal and insertion in the field. The vehicle uses independent height adjustable suspensions, adjusting ground clearance, ride and handling to suit special operating conditions. Additional features include fully integrated Health and Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) and the capability to support exportable power requirements.