Emirates Defense Technology (EDT) is displaying a prototype of its 'Enigma' 8x8 armoured vehicles at Idex 2015 that is compatible with a variety of weapons systems.
The compatibility includes a variant of the M777 howitzer. EDT is targeting sales of new 8x8 armored vehicle to armed forces in the UAE and the wider region after trials this summer, the company’s chief executive Mohamed Al Suwaidi was quoted as saying by The National on Monday.
“Obviously our prime focus is the UAE but from the get-go we have always looked at how it is exportable, how will it meet the requirements of other armies,” said Mr Al Suwaidi. “We are completely open for other markets that would be interested,” he added.
EDT plans to send the Enigma prototype for summer trials with the UAE military, after which it will start manufacturing the vehicle in the Musaffah industrial area. It took the company two years to build the prototype after it was given the go-ahead from the Sheikh Mohammed at IDEX.
“We want to build this vehicle specially for our military, especially for their requirements and build it exactly around what they want, as opposed to something off the shelf being built by someone,” said Mr Al Suwaidi.
“You can change the weapon system on top. We have manufacturing licence agreements with different companies to design, develop and manufacture the armour here in the UAE as a UAE product,” said Mr Al Suwaidi. Enigma 8x8 is heavily armoured vehicle with amphibious capabilities that can accommodate 11 personnel. It is 8.3m long and 2.8m wide, besides it has a height of 2.39m in combat mode and 2.25m in transport mode.
It also has a combat weight of 28t with a payload of 35% of its combat weight. The power train is protected for an additional 10% growth in vehicle weight. Enigma was designed with the assistance of international military vehicle companies such as Timoney, which is providing the drive-line and suspension.
The vehicle will be subjected to trials over the next six months, including the UAE summer trials where the vehicle is expected to meet requirements for the UAE 8x8 competition. The vehicle is modular in design, right out to the armour plates, so that if any one part becomes damaged it can be replaced rapidly.
With a V-shaped hull, the vehicle is fitted with hydro-jet propulsion at the rear. Apparently this is one of the UAE’s requirements. Further the vehicle is fitted with the BMP-3 turret, because the UAE has the turret on older Russian APCs and wants to retain it on a new hull.
The vehicle has a CAT 710 HP engine and a seven speed CAT transmission integrated into a power pack system offering 25.5 hp per ton. It is fitted with Michelin 395/85R20 tyres with CTIS run-flat technology. This provides Enigma with a top speed of 130 km/h and a turning diameter of less than 18m and gradient of 70% in sand or concrete. Amphibious capability is up to two metres without preparation. Enigma is protection up to Stanag 4569 Level 4a and 4b for mine blasts.
It protects up to Level 4 for ballistic protection. It also can protect up to a 50kg TNT at a distance of 5m. It has a crew of three with space for eight dismounts that can access the vehicle via a rear door operated hydraulically and roof hatches for the crew and driver.
The production of the Enigma will be at the EDT’s facility in Abu Dhabi, where it has already undertaken stringent tests ahead of its official introduction at IDEX. It will further support the country in developing an indigenous defence industry.