Caiman is a high mobility, heavily armoured multi-theatre vehicle (MTV) designed and manufactured by BAE Systems to meet the tactical mission requirements of the US Army in Afghanistan. The vehicle was derived by upgrading its earlier version, the Caiman mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle, with commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology.
The Caiman MTV can accommodate ten soldiers and a gunner during troop transport operations. The vehicle can cross rivers with a maximum depth of 915mm without preparation.
Caiman MTV is deployed in Afghanistan to protect army troops from roadside bombs. The vehicle is principally used for transferring troops, command and control units and medical units. It is obtained by altering Caiman MRAP’s capsules, which are deployed in Iraq.
Approximately 2,600 Caiman MRAP vehicles are being upgraded to Caiman MTV through rolling chassis improvement for transition from Iraq to Afghanistan.
The first demonstration of the Caiman MTV was completed on 26 January 2010 at the Michigan Proving Grounds, in Michigan, US.
BAE Systems completed the second demonstration of the vehicle on 10 February 2010 at the Nevada Automotive Test Center (NATC) Vehicle Systems Demonstration Technology Rodeo in Carson City, Nevada.
Both demonstrations have been completed before US Army leaders. Caiman MTV was displayed at the Association of US Army’s Winter Symposium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 26 February 2010.
In September 2010, the US MRAP Joint Program Office (JPO) signed a $629m contract with BAE Systems to upgrade an additional 1,700 Caiman MRAP vehicles. The upgraded vehicles will be designated as Caiman Multi-Terrain Vehicles.
The Caiman MTV is designed to operate in Afghanistan’s violent and harsh terrains. The vehicle can operate in extreme temperature changes, mountainous terrains and poor road infrastructure, as well as in both hot and cold environments.
The Caiman MTV can be configured to include a troop carrier, an ambulance or a Command and Control On-The-Move (C2OTM) vehicle. The ambulance configuration accommodates an attendant, a 4l system and six troops. The Caiman MTV costs less compared with the FMTV fleet currently operating in Afghanistan. Since 2010, BAE Systems has manufactured approximately 50 MTV rolling chassis insertion kits a week.
The Caiman MTV features a C-channel frame, tensylon® composite armour, a fully automated transmission system, an electronic central tire inflation system (CTIS), an anti-lock braking system (ABS), an air-actuated, driver-controlled exhaust brake and a suspension and independent powertrain system.
The vehicle has enhanced survivability and class V interactive electronic technical manuals (IETM). It has two wheels in the front side and four wheels on the rear side. The vehicle weighs around 27,546kg and can travel at a maximum speed of 65mph.
The Caimen MTV also features Arvin Meritor’s 5,000kg heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
The Caiman MTV is equipped with an armoured glass turret and a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun for firing ammunitions. The MTV is also fitted with a remote-controlled weapon station, which incorporates a 12.7mm calibre or 40mm automatic grenade launcher.
The balance between protection, weight and mobility provides the Caiman MTV with resistence to improvised explosive devices (IED).
The V-shaped hull avoids the blast of land mines away from the vehicle to protect its crew.
The MTV is also protected from explosively formed penetrators (EFP) and rocket-propelled grenades (RPG).
A monolithic floor protects it from separating during an IED blast. The robust blast-absorbing seats in the vehicle also protect the crew. The vehicle’s advanced fire suppression systems enhance its survivability.
The Caiman MTV is powered by a single Caterpillar C9 heavy-duty, six-cylinder, electronic controlled, fuel-injected turbocharged and aftercooled engine diesel engine. The engine can produce a maximum of 336kW power.
The vehicle is also equipped with automatic electronic-controlled Caterpillar CX28 transmission system.
The weight transition from axle to wheel allows the vehicle to operate on sand, ice and other tough configurations. The vehicle is equipped with dual-rate coil springs, separate hydraulic shock absorbers and stabiliser bars. The curb-to-curb and wall-to-wall turning circle of the vehicle is 19.4m and 20.4m respectively.
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