General Dynamics European Land Systems displayed the Desert Piranha Class 5, the latest member of the Piranha family of vehicles, during IDEX 2011 (Abu Dhabi, 20-24 February 2011).The vehicle was on display with a Kongsberg 50 cal. Remote Control Weapon Station.
This advanced vehicle raises the benchmark in the areas of survivability, mobility and firepower, marking unprecedented progress in the development of armoured wheeled vehicles.
Global military operations have seen the demand increase for a vehicle that bridges the gap between deployable light forces, with their inherent low survivability, and more survivable heavy forces that are difficult to deploy and have high life cycle costs. Desert Piranha 5 has been developed in response to this need and takes advantage of the latest technologies to deliver class leading survivability, capacity and mobility with low through life costs and inherent growth capacity.
Desert Piranha 5 provides the highest levels of survivability against conventional and asymmetric threats while having the capacity to fill all battlefield roles such as APC, Electronic Warfare, Ambulance, Reconnaissance, Command, Mortar and even Direct Fire with turrets up to 120 mm calibre. The vehicle on display is an example of what can be achieved with a vehicle that delivers the troop an internal capacity of an APC with seating for a crew of eleven men.
The Desert Piranha 5 can be delivered in either high or low roof configurations with open architectures, over 15,000 kg payload and 120 kW electrical power. This provides growth potential to secure a long service life for the vehicle as new technologies emerge and need to be integrated into the vehicle.
Desert Piranha 5 has a next generation, full coverage, modular survivability system that has been integrated in the vehicle design from the concept stage. This system provides unparalleled all round protection, particularly in the wheel well area that has traditionally been vulnerable to IEDs on wheeled armoured combat vehicles. The entire survivability system has been designed to be replaced or upgraded through life to take advantage of new survivability technologies as they mature or to counter emergent threats.
Desert Piranha 5 also features a range of tailorable survivability kits that allow the tactical commander to adapt the vehicle in theatre. This ensures the vehicles suitability for operation in complex terrain against aggressive threats such as IED EFPs, or through rapid reconfiguration, allows Desert Piranha 5 to undertake roles requiring the highest levels of mobility and agility such as formation reconnaissance. Substantial advances have been made in crew ergonomics, energy absorbing seating and occupant restraint systems that further improve the survivability of the Desert Piranha 5 when facing the threats of today and tomorrow.
Desert Piranha 5 features the latest height adjustable McPherson strut suspension technology which endows the vehicle with an extraordinary level of cross country mobility. This suspension in combination with the high output powerpack, fourth axle steering and integrated driver support systems ensures DESERT PIRANHA 5 has the highest level of terrain accessibility and is the most agile wheeled armoured combat vehicle available today.
Desert Piranha 5 is equipped with numerous other systems that enhance vehicle performance and flexibility such as the digital CAN backbone, fuel efficient drive train technology, integrated heating, air-conditioning and NBC protection system and the 120 kW Inline Starter/Generator (ISG). As an example of the unrivalled performance DESERT PIRANHA 5 provides, the ISG generates the power for on board systems while simultaneously providing up to 100 kW AC exportable power to sustain military or civilian infrastructure. The ISG also has the growth capability to recovery brake energy for re-use to boost the vehicle power output to 700 hp while at the same time reducing fuel consumption.