The unique six-wheel drive, six-wheel steer TMV 6x6M, shown for the first time in production form at International Armoured Vehicles (Excel, London, Feb 1-5) represents a totally new modular design concept in highly-manoeuvrable, lightweight military transport, providing extreme deployment flexibility with enhanced ballistic and blast protection solutions.
The rapidly changing marketplace, with a continually-evolving insurgent threat, has given birth to the unique TMV 6x6M. This, the first in a line of British-designed, purpose-built vehicles from TMV, focuses on the logistical requirement for highly-manoeuvrable military transport weighing up to eight tonnes GVW. Significantly, the modular design concept enables product extension to 4x4 and 8x8 variants.
By nature of time constraints and practicality, the majority of current vehicle solutions in this category have had to be based on existing chassis technologies, adapted for purpose. As such, they are inevitably compromised in certain aspects. Furthermore, continually-changing deployment requirements focus on the need to deliver multiple assets with low utilisation rates and a high logistic footprint and, in answer to the insurgent threat, a fresh approach to both ballistic and blast protection.
Against this backdrop, the uniquely-engineered TMV 6x6M, based on established aerospace and racing car construction principles, features a structural V-shaped tub chassis of stainless steel and aluminium, entirely clad with blast plate - to provide enhanced levels of protection against mines and IEDs - married to the usage of new generation, high-technology construction materials.
The design and construction concept has resulted in an immensely lightweight infrastructure that can be easily and effectively protected with a variety of solutions up to STANAG 3, whilst still enabling high levels of payload. The innovative TMV vehicle architecture enables extreme flexibility in the basic vehicle form, responding in both its deployment capability and level of threat usage, delivering a high-performance capability both on and off-road, and enabling a payload which fits between current light utility vehicles and the medium tactical trucks.
Modularity extends to the 6x6M cab superstructure, which can be specified as a 100% composite pod, providing high levels of protection without suffering a high weight penalty, while the bespoke nature allows for other blast and ballistic solutions to be used with a variety of materials.
The modular principle also applies to the removable ‘pod’ configuration of the rear superstructure, which can be specified according to role and mission – e.g. Special Forces, workshop, utility, Armoured Patrol Carrier etc - and which again can be constructed in 100% composite for ballistic protection.
Considerable attention has been devoted to impact on the logistical footprint and, as such, the TMV 6x6M driveline units are configured using solutions that are frequently to be found on existing vehicles, including the Cummins engine and Allison gearbox.
Mounted low-down in the middle of the vehicle, weight distribution is optimised which, together with a low centre of gravity, greatly assists the vehicle’s dynamic performance. Easy access and serviceability have been achieved using downstream input from frontline users, minimising kit requirement at FOB and GOB in operation. The functionality of the 6x6M includes air transportability, which is common to all future TMV 4x4 and 8x8 variants.
The TMV 6x6M is scheduled for production in early 2011, following existing field trials, with 4x4 and 8x8 variants, based on the same platform and design concept, to follow
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