Zephyr protected vehicle designed by Creation is displayed at DSEi 2011 in a new configuration, reflecting the latest upgrade variant. The vehicle is now available in two- and three-axle configurations. Zephyr’s protection architecture features a composite ‘occupant survival cell’ employing a V-form belly plate and an integral blast mitigation system. The vehicle offers basic protection specified for minimum STANAG 4569 level 2 mine protection and level 2-3 KE protection. Fragment protection is taken to level 4. ‘LifeSeat One’ blast protecting seats were also installed, isolating the passenger from extreme body shock and skeletal injury potential resulting from IED and mine blasts.
Zephyr design concept envisaged a fully functional rolling Mine Resistant Underframe (MRU), configured with protected, soft-skin or demountable top cabs, citadels or other structures. Production ready units have sofar focused around protected patrol vehicle requirements, whilst concurrent design and pre-production studies have addressed other applications including specialist vehicles, pick-up utility vehicles, light logistics cargo carriers, and demountable shelters. Combat support configurations also include troop carriers, command and control, weapons mounted installation kit (WMIK), reconnaissance and battlefield ambulance. The vehicle has seating layouts accommodating from two to twelve occupants, with more space allocated mission systems and weapons fit.
As part of the recent upgrade Zephyr was equipped with extreme-duty nitrogen-based suspension, replacing airbag systems which were considered more vulnerable in combat. The MRU can accommodate a range of powertrain options, dependent on end user preference and specification. The power train elements including the cooling pack, engine, automatic transmission and transfer box are mounted on a quick change ‘cassette’ offering rapid access and removal. This permits main powertrain components to be removed for major repair of maintenance in about one hour. The high pressure sealed nitrogen strut unit features an integral damper and internal bump stop offering an intrinsically safe – and retained mobility failure mode. Additional features include fully integrated health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS) and the capability to support exportable power requirements. The new system, carries no additional weight penalty.The vehicle is sized to enable air transportability within C130 and above – or underslung below CH47. Depending on configuration and protection level, the three-axle variant is designed to meet and exceed improved medium mobility (IMM) criteria with a 4 tonne payload.