Israel’s Plasan is showcasing a new model of the Sandcat light armored vehicle at Eurosatory 2016. Two versions of the vehicle are on display here: the Sandcat Stormer, shown in an ISR version, and a light combat vehicle carrying Rafael’s Samson remote weapon station (RWS), mounting a machine gun, Spike missiles and optronics.
The 4×4 Sandcat is currently operational with 15 user nations worldwide. Plasan has launched a production line of the Sandcat in Israel, addressing the growing demand for such light, yet highly protected and affordable combat vehicle. The latest version unveiled by the company at Eurosatory was redesigned with streamlined shapes that improve survivability and protection, especially in seams that require extra protection against small arms and sniper fire coming from high elevations.
The protection available with the vehicle’s baseline configuration comply with STANAG Level 3. extensive use of lightweight composites and ceramics within the kitted hull protection enabled the designers to maintain full protection within the limits available by the vehicle’s curb weight. Plasan implemented similar protection designs in other programs, including the Australian Hawkeye from Thales and the JLTV from Osjhkosh. The main advantage of Plasan’s kitted hull concept is the efficient weight management and flexible upgrading of armor protection, acording to the precieved threat.
To maintain the mobility and responsiveness of the vehicle, Plasan extended the standard Ford 550 high performance chassis, shortened and strengthened to take the maximum allowed GVW. Inside the vehicle the Sandcat offers a spacious cabin for the transportation of troops and mission equipment, with full mission information presented to the vehicle commander, depicted on a tactical screen.
Another innovation introduced here at Eurosatory is the improved dashboard, utilizing part of the original systems with a digital display system linked to the vehicle’s electronic hub, previously known as V-BOX. This new ‘brain’ is an automotive electronic processor that integrates and networks all the vehicle’s systems and sensors with mission systems on board. When fully integrated, upon customer requirements, the hub integrates communications, ISR package, panoramic vision systems and remote weapon stations, providing full situational awareness to the vehicle and crew. The electronic hub aso supports safety and maintenance functions, assisting the vehicle’s operation and support in the field.
Plasan is illustrating these new capabilities in a Virtual Reality (VR) experience that also made its debut at the show.